Pennsylvania Constitution

The Constitution of Pennsylvania is the supreme law within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. All acts of the General Assembly, the governor, and each governmental agency are subordinate to it. Since 1776, Pennsylvania's Constitution has undergone five versions. The current Constitution entered into force in 1968, and has been amended numerous times.

The Constitution may only be amended if a proposed modification receives a majority vote of two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly and then is approved by the electorate. Emergency amendments are permitted by a vote of two-thirds of the General Assembly and an affirmative vote by the electorate within one month. In such emergency situations, commonwealth election officials are required to publish notice of the referendum on a proposed amendment in a minimum of two newspapers in every county. In an event that more than one emergency amendment is proposed, each additional amendment is to be voted on separately.[1]

A view of a large, ornately-decorated room with several rows of curved desks, arranged in a semicircle. A large mural is visible on the wall at the far end of the room.
The Chamber of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from the gallery. The painting Apotheosis of Pennsylvania is visible on the far wall of the chamber.

The Constitution (1968, as amended)Edit

The current Constitution of Pennsylvania comprises the following concise Preamble, and Articles and Schedules:


WE, the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776

Articles and SchedulesEdit

  • Article I. Declaration of Rights
  • Article II. The Legislature
  • Article III. Legislation
  • Article IV. The Executive
  • Article V. The Judiciary
  • Article VI. Public Officers
  • Article VII. Elections
  • Article VIII. Taxation and Finance
  • Article IX. Local Government
  • Article X. Private Corporations
  • Article XI. Amendments
  • Schedule No. 1 (Adopted with the Constitution)
  • Schedule No. 2 (Amendments of November 2, 1909)


Pennsylvania has had five constitutions during its statehood:[2] 1776, 1790, 1838, 1874, and 1968. Prior to that, the colonial Province of Pennsylvania was governed for a century by a book titled Frame of Government, written by William Penn, of which there were four versions: 1682, 1683, 1696, and 1701.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Pennsylvania Constitution - Ballotpedia". Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  2. ^ 23 hi bill Archived 2010-01-13 at the Wayback Machine Law Weekly 324 (March 27, 2000). Retrieved on December 31, 2011.
  3. ^ 23 Pennsylvania Law Weekly 324 (March 27, 2010) PHP The unicameral legislature established in 1776 was abolished in 1790 in favor of a bicameral legislature. Archived 2010-01-13 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit