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A Legislative History of Article 1, Section 27 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Showing Source Documents

77 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2014 Last revised: 1 Nov 2015

John C. Dernbach

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Ed J. Sonnenberg

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Date Written: July 1, 2014

Abstract

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth, 803 A.3d 901 (Dec. 19, 2013) has prompted enormous interest in the history and text of Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. This legislative history is a response to that interest.

Amendments to the state constitution must be approved by each house of the General Assembly in two successive legislative sessions, and then approved by a majority of voters in a public referendum. Article I, Section 27 was agreed to in the 1969-1970 and 1971-72 sessions of the General Assembly, and approved by the state’s voters on May 18, 1971. We have attempted to put in one place all of the bills and other documents that represent its passage through this process. More than 40 years after its adoption, many of these documents are relatively hard to find. We hope that this legislative history will make it easier for the public, the bar, and others to see what was done, and why.

A companion legislative history, showing only material relevant to Article I, Section 27, is available at 24 Widener L.J. 181 (2015), http://ssrn.com/abstract=2684030

Keywords: Article I, Section 27; state constitutional law; public trust doctrine; environmental law; property rights; constitutional law; state constitutional law; Pennsylvania; sustainable development; environmental rights; constitutional environmental law; Pennsylvania Supreme Court; Robinson Township

JEL Classification: K32, K11, K19, K39, Q01

Suggested Citation

Dernbach, John C. and Sonnenberg, Ed J., A Legislative History of Article 1, Section 27 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Showing Source Documents (July 1, 2014). Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2474660 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2474660

John C. Dernbach (Contact Author)

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School ( email )

3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9380
United States

Ed J. Sonnenberg

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School ( email )

3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9380
United States

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