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Article III, Pennsylvania Constitution
- 1 A. Procedure
- 2 B. Education
- 3 C. National Guard
- 4 D. Other Legislation Specifically Authorized
- 5 E. Restrictions on Legislative Power
- 6 External links
- 7 Navigation
|I • II • III • IV • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • X • XI • Schedule 1 • Schedule 2|
| Text of Section 1:
Passage of Laws
No law shall be passed except by bill, and no bill shall be so altered or amended, on its passage through either House, as to change its original purpose.
| Text of Section 2:
Reference to Committee; Printing
No bill shall be considered unless referred to a committee, printed for the use of the members and returned therefrom.
| Text of Section 3:
Form of Bills
No bill shall be passed containing more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title, except a general appropriation bill or a bill codifying or compiling the law or a part thereof.
| Text of Section 4:
Consideration of Bills
Every bill shall be considered on three different days in each House. All amendments made thereto shall be printed for the use of the members before the final vote is taken on the bill and before the final vote is taken, upon written request addressed to the presiding officer of either House by at least twenty-five percent of the members elected to that House, any bill shall be read at length in that House. No bill shall become a law, unless on its final passage the vote is taken by yeas and nays, the names of the persons voting for and against it are entered on the journal, and a majority of the members elected to each House is recorded thereon as voting in its favor.
| Text of Section 5:
Concurring in Amendments; Conference Committee Reports
No amendment to bills by one House shall be concurred in by the other, except by the vote of a majority of the members elected thereto, taken by yeas and nays, and the names of those voting recorded upon the journals.
| Text of Section 6:
Revival and Amendment of Laws
No law shall be revived, amended, or the provisions thereof extended or conferred, by reference to its title only, but so much thereof as is revived, amended, extended or conferred shall be re-enacted and published at length.
| Text of Section 7:
Notice of Local and Special Bills
No local or special bill shall be passed unless notice of the intention to apply therefore shall have been published in the locality where the matter or the thing to be effected may be situated, which notice shall be at least thirty days prior to the introduction into the General Assembly of such bill and in the manner to be provided by law; the evidence of such notice having been published, shall be exhibited in the General Assembly, before such act shall be passed.
| Text of Section 8:
Signing of Bills
The presiding officer of each House shall, in the presence of the House over which he presides, sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the General Assembly, after their titles have been publicly read immediately before signing; and the fact of signing shall be entered on the journal.
| Text of Section 9:
Action on Concurrent Orders and Resolutions
Every order, resolution or vote, to which the concurrence of both Houses may be necessary, except on the question of adjournment, shall be presented to the Governor and before it shall take effect be approved by him, or being disapproved, shall be repassed by two-thirds of both Houses according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.
| Text of Section 10:
All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose amendments as in other bills.
| Text of Section 11:
The general appropriation bill shall embrace nothing but appropriations for the executive, legislative and judicial departments of the Commonwealth, for the public debt and for public schools. All other appropriations shall be made by separate bills, each embracing but one subject.
| Text of Section 12:
Legislation Designated by Governor at Special Sessions
When the General Assembly shall be convened in special session, there shall be no legislation upon subjects other than those designated in the proclamation of the Governor calling such session.
| Text of Section 12:
Vote Denied Members with Personal Interest
A member who has a personal or private interest in any measure or bill proposed or pending before the General Assembly shall disclose the fact to the House of which he is a member, and shall not vote thereon.
| Text of Section 14:
Public School System
The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.
| Text of Section 15:
Public School Money Not Available to Sectarian Schools
No money raised for the support of the public schools of the Commonwealth shall be appropriated to or used for the support of any sectarian school.
C. National Guard
| Text of Section 16:
National Guard to be Organized and Maintained
The citizens of this Commonwealth shall be armed, organized and disciplined for its defense when and in such manner as may be directed by law. The General Assembly shall provide for maintaining the National Guard by appropriations from the Treasury of the Commonwealth, and may exempt from State military service persons having conscientious scruples against bearing arms.
D. Other Legislation Specifically Authorized
| Text of Section 17:
Appointment of Legislative Officers and Employees
The General Assembly shall prescribe by law the number, duties and compensation of the officers and employees of each House, and no payment shall be made from the State Treasury, or be in any way authorized, to any person, except to an acting officer or employee elected or appointed in pursuance of law.
| Text of Section 18:
Compensation Laws Allowed to General Assembly
The General Assembly may enact laws requiring the payment by employers, or employers and employees jointly, of reasonable compensation for injuries to employees arising in the course of their employment, and for occupational diseases of employees, whether or not such injuries or diseases result in death, and regardless of fault of employer or employee, and fixing the basis of ascertainment of such compensation and the maximum and minimum limits thereof, and providing special or general remedies for the collection thereof; but in no other cases shall the General Assembly limit the amount to be recovered for injuries resulting in death, or for injuries to persons or property, and in case of death from such injuries, the right of action shall survive, and the General Assembly shall prescribe for whose benefit such actions shall be prosecuted. No act shall prescribe any limitations of time within which suits may be brought against corporations for injuries to persons or property, or for other causes different from those fixed by general laws regulating actions against natural persons, and such acts now existing are avoided.
| Text of Section 19:
Appropriations for Support of Widows and Orphans of Persons Who Served in the Armed Forces
The General Assembly may make appropriations of money to institutions wherein the widows of persons who served in the armed forces are supported or assisted, or the orphans of persons who served in the armed forces are maintained and educated; but such appropriations shall be applied exclusively to the support of such widows and orphans.
| Text of Section 20:
Classification of Municipalities
The Legislature shall have power to classify counties, cities, boroughs, school districts, and townships according to population, and all laws passed relating to each class, and all laws passed relating to, and regulating procedure and proceedings in court with reference to, any class, shall be deemed general legislation within the meaning of this Constitution.
| Text of Section 21:
Land Title Registration
Laws may be passed providing for a system of registering, transferring, insuring of and guaranteeing land titles by the State, or by the counties thereof, and for settling and determining adverse or other claims to and interest in lands the titles to which are so registered, transferred, insured, and guaranteed; and for the creation and collection of indemnity funds; and for carrying the system and powers hereby provided for into effect by such existing courts as may be designated by the Legislature. Such laws may provide for continuing the registering, transferring, insuring, and guaranteeing such titles after the first or original registration has been perfected by the court, and provision may be made for raising the necessary funds for expenses and salaries of officers, which shall be paid out of the treasury of the several counties.
| Text of Section 22:
The General Assembly shall maintain by law a system of competitive bidding under which all purchases of materials, printing, supplies or other personal property used by the government of this Commonwealth shall so far as practicable be made. The law shall provide that no officer or employee of the Commonwealth shall be in any way interested in any purchase made by the Commonwealth under contract or otherwise.
| Text of Section 23:
Change of Venue
The power to change the venue in civil and criminal cases shall be vested in the courts, to be exercised in such manner as shall be provided by law.
| Text of Section 24:
Paying Out Public Moneys
No money shall be paid out of the treasury, except on appropriations made by law and on warrant issued by the proper officers; but cash refunds of taxes, licenses, fees and other charges paid or collected, but not legally due, may be paid, as provided by law, without appropriation from the fund into which they were paid on warrant of the proper officer.
| Text of Section 25:
Emergency Seats of Government
The General Assembly may provide, by law, during any session, for the continuity of the executive, legislative, and judicial functions of the government of the Commonwealth, and its political subdivisions, and the establishment of emergency seats thereof and any such laws heretofore enacted are validated. Such legislation shall become effective in the event of an attack by an enemy of the United States.
| Text of Section 26:
Extra Compensation Prohibited; Claims Against the Commonwealth; Pensions
No bill shall be passed giving any extra compensation to any public officer, servant, employee, agent or contractor after services shall be rendered or contract made, nor providing for the payment of any claim against the Commonwealth without previous authority of law. Provided, however, that nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit the General Assembly from authorizing the increase of retirement allowances or pensions of members of a retirement or pension system now in effect or hereafter legally constituted by the Commonwealth, its political subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities, after the termination of the services of said member.
| Text of Section 27:
Changes in Term of Office or Salary Prohibited
No law shall extend the term of any public officer, or increase or diminish his salary or emoluments, after his election or appointment.
E. Restrictions on Legislative Power
| Text of Section 28:
Change of Permanent Location of State Capital
No law changing the permanent location of the Capital of the State shall be valid until the same shall have been submitted to the qualified electors of the Commonwealth at a general election and ratified and approved by them.
| Text of Section 29:
Appropriations for Public Assistance, Military Service, Scholarships
No appropriation shall be made for charitable, educational or benevolent purposes to any person or community nor to any denomination and sectarian institution, corporation or association: Provided, that appropriations may be made for pensions of gratuities for military service and to blind persons twenty-one years of age and upwards and for assistance to mothers having dependent children and to aged persons without adequate means of support and in the form of scholarship grants or loans for higher educational purposes to residents of the Commonwealth enrolled in institutions of higher learning except that no scholarship, grants or loans for higher educational purposes shall be given to persons enrolled in a theological seminary or school of theology.
| Text of Section 30:
Charitable and Educational Appropriations
No appropriation shall be made to any charitable or educational institution not under the absolute control of the Commonwealth, other than normal schools established by law for the professional training of teachers for the public schools of the State, except by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each House.
| Text of Section 31:
Delegation of Certain Powers Prohibited
The General Assembly shall not delegate to any special commission, private corporation or association, any power to make, supervise or interfere with any municipal improvement, money, property or effects, whether held in trust or otherwise, or to levy taxes or perform any municipal function whatever. Notwithstanding the foregoing limitation or any other provision of the Constitution, the General Assembly may enact laws which provide that the findings of panels or commissions, selected and acting in accordance with law for the adjustment or settlement of grievances or disputes or for collective bargaining between policemen and firemen and their public employers shall be binding upon all parties and shall constitute a mandate to the head of the political subdivision which is the employer or to the appropriate officer of the Commonwealth if the Commonwealth is the employer, with respect to matters which can be remedied by administrative action, and to the lawmaking body of such political subdivision or of the Commonwealth, with respect to matters which require legislative action, to take the action necessary to carry out such findings.
| Text of Section 32:
Certain Local and Special Laws
The General Assembly shall pass no local or special law in any case which has been or can be provided for by general law and specifically the General assembly shall not pass any local or special law.
Nor shall the General Assembly indirectly enact any special or local law by the partial repeal of a general law; but laws repealing local or special acts may be passed.