Initiative, Referendum & Recall
Article I, Section 3 of the PA Constitution clearly states, “All power is inherent in the people…they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper.”
Unfortunately, the Constitution thereafter provides no mechanism for the people to exercise their “inherent power” over state government. Thus, the people’s political will is suppressed; property taxation, for instance, persists even though a significant majority of Pennsylvanians wish for it to be abolished.
A significant majority also wants term limits, lawsuit reform, and a host of other actions that lie dormant under the weight of special interest groups’ influence and the inertia of the General Assembly.
Citizens in 27 states have the power of Initiative & Referendum, and Pennsylvanians should also have it—as well as the ability to recall corrupt public officials—in order to give life to the state Constitution’s clear directive that “All power is inherent in the people,” and to break the political logjam on a host of pressing issues upon which the people have sought action for years—if not decades—with zero results from Harrisburg.
Of course, there are poorly written Initiative and Referendum laws (California’s I&R law, for example), but there are proposals that would not result in ballot clutter or unfunded mandates.