Pennsylvania Amendment 1 (2001)
Amendment 1, 2001, was first approved by the Pennsylvania General Assembly during its 1998 session as Joint Resolution 1998-3, and was then approved by the General Assembly for the second time during the 2000 session as Joint Resolution 2000-1. It was one of two proposed amendments to appear on the May 15, 2001 ballot, the other being Amendment 2.
Text on the Ballot
The ballot question was, "Shall the Constitution of Pennsylvania be amended with regard to legislative reapportionment to provide that when a reapportionment plan, upon attaining the force of law, contains a state senate district which does not include the residence from which an incumbent senator was elected, an election for the office of senator for that district shall be held at the next general election irrespective of when an election for the district is otherwise scheduled?"
The Pennsylvania Attorney General provided an explanation of Amendment 2 which said:
The purpose of the ballot question is to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to address a particular possible consequence of the reapportionment of the legislative districts of the Commonwealth.
The Pennsylvania Constitution provides that, following each decennial federal census, a Legislative Reapportionment Commission shall be constituted to prepare a reapportionment plan for each of Pennsylvania's state senatorial and representative districts in response to changes in population.
The Pennsylvania Constitution also provides for the terms and qualifications of members of the General Assembly. It provides that state senators shall be elected for terms of four years. It requires that they live in their respective districts for one year preceding their election, and that they reside in their respective districts during their terms of service.
State senators are elected at general elections, which are held in even-numbered years. Voters in odd-numbered senatorial districts elect their senators at one general election. Voters in even-numbered senatorial districts elect their senators at the next general election.
The proposed amendment would address the following situation. A reapportionment plan redraws a senatorial district. The newly drawn district does not contain the residence from which the senator who represented the previously drawn district was elected, and the newly drawn district is not scheduled to elect a senator at the next general election.
The effect of the proposed amendment would be to assure the voters in a senatorial district presented with this situation the opportunity to elect a senator at the next general election. The senator so elected would serve the final two years of the senatorial term for that district.
A limitation of the proposed amendment is that it would apply only to senatorial districts, and not to districts of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Members of the House are elected to two-year terms at every general election.