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Bill to Allow Local Officials to Be Removed from Office Passes PA House

Tuesday July 9th, 2019
The PA House passed a proposed constitutional amendment June 25 that would allow municipal officials to be removed from office for cause, such as missing meetings or dereliction of duties.
The amendment, which passed by a 195-6 vote, would require the General Assembly to establish the reasons that a local government official could be removed from office and provide a procedure for that removal. The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.
The process for amending the state constitution is lengthy. Both legislative chambers must approve the bill in two consecutive legislative sessions before it can go before registered voters for ratification.
PSATS has concerns about the bill and would rather see elected officials who fail to perform their duties be encouraged to resign, rather than forcibly removed from office. PSATS issued a statement that reads, in part:
"Overturning the will of the voters is a dangerous precedent and should only be undertaken with extreme caution and appropriate due process. Political and personal grudge motivations must not be the driving forces. There is currently a process available in the Pennsylvania Constitution, albeit a difficult one, to remove any elected official from office."
Statewide advertising requirements for proposed constitutional amendments could cost taxpayers $500,000 to $1 million for the first passage of the bill during the current session, according to the House Appropriations Committee.