skip to Main Content

PA Constitutional Amendments on the Primary Ballot – May 2021

Pennsylvania ballots on Primary Day 2021, May 18th, will include a series of ballot questions that allow voters to weigh changes to the PA state constitution. Anyone, regardless of party affiliation, may vote on these.

May 18, 2021 Ballot Questions

QUESTION 1: VOTE NO


WHAT IT SAYS

“Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law and increase the power of the General Assembly to unilaterally terminate or extend a disaster emergency declaration…?”

IN PLAIN ENGLISH…
The first question on your PA Primary ballot is asking whether partisan legislators should be able to terminate a Governor’s existing emergency declaration, like the one being used now to fight the pandemic.

This amendment would allow partisan politicians to derail nonpartisan emergency response. It could even put Harrisburg gridlock in the way of health experts and first responders.

VOTE NO to keep partisan politics out of Pennsylvania’s disaster response.

QUESTION 2: VOTE NO


WHAT IT SAYS

“Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law so that: a disaster emergency declaration will expire automatically after 21 days… unless the General Assembly takes action…?”

IN PLAIN ENGLISH…
Just like the first, the second question on your 2021 PA Primary ballot is asking whether power should be stripped from health experts, emergency responders, and the governor to put it in the hands of the gridlocked PA legislature.

In this case, the amendment would automatically terminate emergency declarations after just three weeks. Only the legislature would have the power to extend or renew emergencies.

VOTE NO to keep partisan politics out of Pennsylvania’s disaster response.

QUESTION 3: VOTE YES


WHAT IT SAYS

“Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended by adding a new section providing that the equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of an individual’s race or ethnicity?”

IN PLAIN ENGLISH…
The third question on your 2021 PA Primary ballot asks whether the state constitution should specifically prohibit the denial of equal rights based on race or ethnicity.

This amendment offers additional protection against laws or policies that would deny Communities of Color their legal rights. It codifies the progress many Pennsylvanians have fought for for so long.

VOTE YES to help ensure equal rights under the law for all Pennsylvanians.

QUESTION 4: VOTE YES

The purpose of the ballot question is to determine whether Pennsylvania voters authorize making municipal fire departments or companies with paid personnel and emergency medical services companies eligible to apply for loans from an already existing state loan program.

Currently, municipal fire departments or companies with paid personnel and emergency medical services companies are not authorized to apply for loans from this program. The Pennsylvania General Assembly has determined that municipal fire departments or companies with paid personnel and emergency medical services companies are most in need of loans to replace outmoded or unsafe equipment and buildings to meet the increased demands for a higher level of service in the communities they serve. If approved, the referendum will allow municipal fire departments or companies with paid personnel and emergency medical services companies to apply for loans from the program, consistent with the existing law and regulations.

The Office of the State Fire Commissioner administers the loan program, and has promulgated regulations to govern the loan application process. Upon successful application, the Office authorizes loans for the purposes and in amounts specified by the Emergency Management Service Code and the Office’s regulations. These loans may be used for establishing or modernizing facilities to house firefighting apparatus equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles. They may also be used for the purchase of new firefighting apparatus equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles, protective and communications equipment and any other accessory equipment necessary for the proper performance of these organizations’ duties.

This referendum does not authorize incurring any additional debt to fund the loan program; it only expands the class of eligible loan applicants. It also does not expand the purposes for which loans may be made; municipal fire departments or companies with paid personnel and emergency medical services companies may only apply for the type of loans already provided for by law and regulation.

We recommend a Yes vote.

Back To Top