Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 1874/Article 3

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Article III: Legislation[edit]

Section 1: Passage of bills.[edit]

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.

Section 2: Reference to committee. Printing.[edit]

No bill shall be considered unless referred to a committee, returned therefrom, and printed for the use of the members.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 3: To contain but one subject expressed in the act.[edit]

Section 3. No bill, except general appropriation bills, shall be passed containing more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 4: To be read on three days. Amendments to be printed. Yeas and Nays.[edit]

Every bill shall be read at length 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 no bill shall become a law, unless on its final passage the vote be taken by yeas and nays, the names of the persons voting for and against the same be entered on the journal, and a majority of the members elected to each House be recorded thereon as voting in its favor.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 5: Vote concurring in amendments and on reports of conference to be yeas and nays.[edit]

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 for and against recorded upon the journal thereof; and reports of committees of conference shall be adopted in either House only 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.

Section 6: Revival of law.[edit]

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.

Section 7: Limitations on special legislation, &c.[edit]

The General Assembly shall not pass any local or special law

  • Authorizing the creation, extension or impairing of liens:
  • Regulating the affairs of counties, cities, townships, wards, boroughs, or school districts:
  • Changing the names of persons or places:
  • Changing the venue in civil or criminal cases:
  • Authorizing the laying out, opening, altering or maintaining roads, highways, streets, or alleys:
  • Relating to ferries or bridges, or incorporating ferry or bridge companies, except for the erection of bridges crossing streams which form boundaries between this and any other State:
  • Vacating roads, town-plats, streets or alleys:
  • Relating to cemeteries, graveyards, or public grounds not of the State:
  • Authorizing the adoption or legitimatization of children:
  • Locating or changing county seats, erecting new counties or changing county lines:
  • Incorporating cities, towns, or villages, or changing their charters:
  • For the opening and conducting of elections, or fixing or changing the place of voting:
  • Granting divorces:
  • Erecting new townships or boroughs, changing township lines, borough limits or school districts. Creating offices, or prescribing the powers and duties of officers in counties, cities, boroughs, townships, election or school districts:
  • Changing the law of descent or succession:
  • Regulating the practice or jurisdiction of, or changing the rules of evidence in, any judicial proceeding or inquiry before courts, aldermen, justices of the peace, sheriffs, commissioners, arbitrators, auditors, masters in chancery or other tribunals, or providing or changing methods for the collection of debts, or the enforcing of judgments, or prescribing the effect of judicial sales of real estate:
  • Regulating the fees, or extending the powers and duties of aldermen, justices of the peace, magistrates or constables:
  • Regulating the management of public schools, the building or repairing of school houses, and the raising of money for such purposes:
  • Fixing the rate of interest:
  • Affecting the estates of minors or persons under disability, except after due notice to all parties in interest, to be recited in the special enactment: Remitted fines, penalties and forfeitures, or refunding moneys legally paid into the treasury:
  • Exempting property from taxation:
  • Regulating labor, trade, mining or manufacturing:
  • Creating corporations, or amending, renewing or extending the charters thereof:
  • Granting to any corporation, association or individual any special or exclusive privilege or immunity, or to any corporation, association or individual the right to lay down a railroad track:
  • Nor shall the General Assembly indirectly enact such special or local law by the partial repeal of a general law; but laws repealing local or special acts may be passed:
  • Nor shall any law be passed granting powers or privileges in any case where the granting of such powers and privileges shall have been provided for by the general law, nor where the courts have jurisdiction to grant the same or give the relief asked for. Notice of local or special bills.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 8[edit]

No local or special bill shall be passed unless notice of the intention to apply therefor 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.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 9: Signing of bills by presiding officers.[edit]

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.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 10: Legislative officers.[edit]

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. Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 11: No extra compensation to officers or contractors.[edit]

No bill shall be passed giving any extra compensation to any public officer, servant, employee, agent or contractor, after services shall have been rendered or contract made, nor providing for the payment of any claim against the Commonwealth without previous authority of law.

Amendment of November 8, 1955

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 12: Public printing.[edit]

All stationery, printing, paper and fuel used in the legislative and other departments of government shall be furnished, and the printing, binding and distributing of the laws, journals, department reports, and all other printing and binding, and the repairing and furnishing the halls and rooms used for the meetings of the General Assembly and its committees, shall be performed under contract to be given to the lowest responsible bidder below such maximum price and under such regulations as shall be prescribed by law; no member or officer of any department of the government shall be in any way interested in such contracts, and all such contracts shall be subject to the approval of the Governor, Auditor General and State Treasurer.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 13: No extension of official terms or increase of compensation.[edit]

No law shall extend the term of any public officer, or increase or diminish his salary or emoluments, after his election or appointment.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 14: Revenue bills.[edit]

All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose amendments as in other bills.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 15: Appropriation bills.[edit]

The general appropriation bill shall embrace nothing but appropriations for the ordinary expenses of the executive, legislative and judicial departments of the Commonwealth, interest on the public debt and for public schools; all other appropriations shall be made by separate bills, each embracing but one subject.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 16: Payment of moneys from the treasury.[edit]

No money shall be paid out of the Treasury, except upon appropriations made by law, and on warrants drawn by the proper officer in pursuance thereof.

Amendment of November 7, 1961

Section 17: Appropriations to charitable institutions.[edit]

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.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 18: Appropriations for charitable purposes, etc., limited.[edit]

No appropriations, except for pensions or gratuities for military services, shall be made for charitable, educational, or benevolent purposes, to any person or community, nor to any denominational or sectarian institution, corporation or association.

Amendment of November 7, 1933

Amendment of November 2, 1937

Amendment of November 5, 1963

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 19: Appropriations may be made for widows and orphans of soldiers.[edit]

The General Assembly may make appropriations of money to institutions wherein the widows of soldiers are supported or assisted, or the orphans of soldiers are maintained and educated; but such appropriations shall be applied exclusively to the support of such widows and orphans.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 20: Power over municipal administration not to be delegated.[edit]

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.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 21: No limitation of damages for certain injuries. Nor of time for bringing suits.[edit]

No act of the General Assembly shall 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.

Amendment of November 2, 1915

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 22: Investment of trust funds.[edit]

No act of the General Assembly shall authorize the investment of trust funds by executors, administrators, guardians or other trustees, in the bonds or stock of any private corporation, and such acts now existing are avoided saving investments heretofore made.

Amendment of November 7, 1933

Repeal of May 16, 1967

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 23: Changes of venue.[edit]

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.

Section 24: No obligation of corporations to the State to be released, etc.[edit]

No obligation or liability of any railroad or other corporation, held or owned by the Commonwealth, shall ever be exchanged, transferred, remitted, postponed or in any way diminished by the General Assembly, nor shall such liability or obligation be released, except by payment thereof into the State Treasury.

Repeal of May 16, 1967

Section 25: Limitations of legislative power at special sessions.[edit]

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.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 26: Concurrent orders, resolutions, and votes to presented to the Governor.[edit]

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.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 27: No State inspectors of merchandise.[edit]

No State office shall be continued or created for the inspection of measuring of any merchandise, manufacture or commodity, but any county or municipality may appoint such officers when authorized by law.

Repeal of May 16, 1967

Section 28: Changing location of State Capital.[edit]

No law changing the 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.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 29: Bribery by members of legislature.[edit]

A member of the General Assembly who shall solicit, demand or receive, or consent to receive, directly or indirectly, for himself or for another, from any company, corporation or person, any money, office, appointment, employment, testimonial, reward, thing of value or enjoyment, or of personal advantage, or promise thereof, for his vote or official influence, or for withholding the same, or with an understanding, expressed or implied, that his vote or official action shall be in any way influenced thereby, or who shall solicit or demand any such money or other advantage, matter or thing aforesaid for another, as the consideration of his vote or official influence, or for the withholding the same, or shall give or withhold his vote or influence in consideration of the payment or promise of such money, advantage, matter or thing to another, shall be held guilty of bribery within the meaning of this Constitution, and shall incur the disabilities provided thereby for said offence, and such additional punishment as is or shall be provided by law.

Repeal of May 16, 1967

Section 30: Bribery of members of General Assembly and officers.[edit]

Any person who shall, directly or indirectly, offer, give or promise, any money, or thing of value, testimonial, privilege, or personal advantage, to any executive or judicial officer, or member of the General Assembly, to influence him in the performance of any of his public or official duties, shall be guilty of bribery and be punished in such manner as shall be provided by law.

Repeal of May 16, 1967

Section 31: The offence of corrupt solicitation to be punished by fine and imprisonment.[edit]

The offence of corrupt solicitation of members of the General Assembly or of public officers of the State or any municipal division thereof, and any occupation or practice of solicitation of such members or officers to influence their official action, shall be defined by law and shall be punished by fine and imprisonment.

Repeal of May 16, 1967

Amendment of November 7, 1967

Section 32: Witnesses to testify in cases of bribery and solicitation. Punishment.[edit]

Any person may be compelled to testify in any lawful investigation or judicial proceeding against any person who may be charged with having committed the offence of bribery or corrupt solicitation, or practices of solicitation, and shall not be permitted to withhold his testimony upon the ground that it may criminate himself or subject him to public infamy; but such testimony shall not afterwards be used against him in any judicial proceeding, except for perjury in giving such testimony, and any person convicted of either of the offences aforesaid shall, as part of the punishment therefor, be disqualified from holding any office or position of honor, trust or profit in this Commonwealth.

Repeal of May 16, 1967

Section 33: Interested member shall not vote.[edit]

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.

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 34[edit]

Added by Amendment of November 6, 1923

Amendment of May 16, 1967

Section 35[edit]

Added by Amendment of November 5, 1963

Amendment of May 16, 1967