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Senate approves Constitutional Amendment to limit length of future disaster declarations

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Future emergency disaster declarations could not be extended beyond 30 days without legislative approval under a proposed Constitutional Amendment that was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate Wednesday, according to Senator Bob Mensch (R-24), who supported the measure.

Under current law, an emergency declaration from the governor can last up to 90 days and can be renewed indefinitely.

Senate Bill 1166 would limit the length of an emergency declaration to 30 days unless approved for a longer duration by the General Assembly. The bill also would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to prohibit the denial of equal rights based on race or ethnicity. The change would bring the state Constitution into line with the equal protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution.

Because Senate Bill 1166 would require an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution, the bill must be passed by the Senate and House of Representatives in two consecutive legislative sessions and be approved by voters via referendum.


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