Luzerne County Home Rule Charter (2009)

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A Luzerne County Home Rule Charter was on the May 19, 2009 ballot in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. All registered voters in the county will be eligible to vote on whether to form an 11-member home rule study commission. The measure was approved.[1]

  • Yes: 48,405 (77.46%) Approveda
  • No: 14,083 (22.54%)

A similar effort to transform Luzerne into a home-rule charter county was defeated after a 2001-2003 effort.[2]

A group called Luzerne Home Rule is organizing a campaign on behalf of the measure. Luzerne Home Rule is a non-profit group now applying for political action committee status in order to be legally eligible to advocate on behalf of a "yes" vote. The NEPA Organizing Center also supports adoption of the proposed home rule charter.[3]

What is Home Rule?

All of Pennsylvania's 67 counties are eligible to become Home Rule counties under certain circumstances. In counties to do make this shift:

  • Responsibility for county government moves from the Pennsylvania State Legislature to a governing board selected in the county by the county's voters.
  • Counties that adopt home rule can tailor their governmental organization and powers to suit their preferences.
  • Each charter county adopts a charter that serves the same function for the county as the Pennsylvania Constitution serves for the state.
  • The charter is a body of law within which the county government can adopt, adapt and administer legislation and regulations for the conduct of business and the maintenance of order and progress.

A Home Rule Charter replace the existing county code with a new legal framework that is drafted by local citizens and adopted by popular vote.[4]

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