Quest for Pa. constitutional convention begins again

    Another bill authorizing a constitutional convention overhauling Pennsylvania government has been introduced in the State House.

    Similar legislation is written year after year, and nothing ever happens. But reform advocates insist they’re a bit more hopeful this time. Eric Epstein of the reform group Rock the Capital points out Gov. Tom Corbett, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi and other top lawmakers said they support a limited constitutional convention during last year’s campaign.

    “This legislation is going to be a litmus test for reform. And its status will signal the tone and tenor of the next legislative session,” Epstein said.

    In order for a convention to take place, the General Assembly must pass a law calling for one. After that, Pennsylvania voters would have to approve a referendum.

    Epstein and others have called for a smaller, or even part-time, Legislature and language dictating more government transparency, among other changes.

    Epstein has called for a “citizen’s opportunity period,” which he describes as , “A waiting period of at least 72 hours – preferably two weeks – between final amendment and final passage of legislation in each chamber. Obviously the perks, I think we can all agree, need to go or be curtailed.”

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