Feb 05 2014

PA Merit Selection Timeline

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How to Move to Merit Selection in Pennsylvania

Changing from an elective system to a merit selection system for judges requires a constitutional amendment. This is a lengthy process, which requires both action by the legislature and approval by the public.

Step 1 — First passage by the state legislature The state legislature must pass a bill to amend the constitution in two consecutive legislative sessions. Each legislative session runs for two years. To comply with guidelines requiring publication of proposed constitutional amendments, passage must occur during the 2013-2014 session.

Step 2 – Second passage by the state legislature Second passage must occur during the following legislative session, which runs from January 2015 through December 2016.

Step 3 – Public Referendum Following second passage in the legislature and second publication of the proposed amendment, a public referendum, yes/no vote on amending the constitution must be held. The timing of this referendum depends on when second passage occurs. The earliest a public referendum could be held is Spring 2015.

Only the people of Pennsylvania can determine whether we amend the constitution to move to merit selection. Only a majority yes vote in the referendum will result in an amendment to the constitution. If you support merit selection in Pennsylvania, please complete and return the Supporter Form.

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