ACLU-PA Position: Supports
HB 283 would amend the Pennsylvania Election Code to require that each member of the General Assembly hold a public meeting in their legislative district to receive public comment on proposed constitutional amendments or other statewide ballot questions. Meetings would be held after the Attorney General prepares the plain English statement on the proposed amendments and before voters decide on the amendment at the ballot box. All meetings would be held in accordance with the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, our open meetings law.
Proposed amendments to our state constitution must pass both chambers of the General Assembly in two consecutive legislative sessions and are ultimately decided upon by voters in the form of a ballot question. Last session, legislators proposed 100 new amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution with little to no public comment or participation. HB 283 would ensure that residents are aware of proposed amendments and other statewide ballot questions, have the opportunity to ask questions, and are given a forum to voice their opinions on proposed changes to our commonwealth's founding document.
Check the bill's status here.