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Amending the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
The writers of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognized that, from time to time, it would be appropriate to change the rules. This process is called Amending the Constitution. George Bryan, James Cannon, and Benjamin Franklin were the principal authors of the Commonwealth's constitution. They created, within the document, a set of rules that govern the amending process.

There are several groups seeking to amend Pennsylvania's Constitution. They cite Article I Section II -

"All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness. For the advancement of these ends 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."

Your family has learned that your aunt and uncle are members of a nonpartisan group seeking to amend Pennsylvania's Constitution. They are calling for allowing Citizen's Initiative by Referendum. They argue that citizens will have greater say in their government.

In the United States, the initiative is in use: at the level of state government, in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Citizens for U.S. Direct Initiatives

1. Create an explanation of how to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution.


2. What is the role of the governor in the constitutional amendment process?


3. What was the issue resolved by the most recent amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution?


4. Use a table to organize: (I got you started)
Constitution Amend.

Compare the process for amending the Pennsylvania Constitution
with the process for amending the Constitution of the United States of America.

Which process supports better government? Why?


Describe several ways that citizens can work positively to support the passage of an amendment to the Constitution.



What do you support?

Identify a current or recently proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution.
What is the status of the effort? Do you support the proposal? Explain.


Should the people of Pennsylvania amend the Constitution to allow for citizen referendum? Support your answer.


What is the process for amending the bylaws/constitution of your student government at school? Does this process give the students at-large a voice in this body of government?


Pennsylvania Projects Citizen Rights Who Represents You? Pennsylvania Charters PA County Government
Ballot Access Running for Office Government by the numbers Pennsylvania Facts puzzle Cities of Pennsylvania
Make a PA fact hunt Map PA Waters Pennsylvania Geology Evaluate Legislator PA Flag Facts
Pa map & facts activity Amend the Constitution Dig into lobbying in Pa Music Artists of PA Government of PA.
Exceptional Women of PA Visual Artists of PA Coppedge activity Sing PA Facts Government's Demographics
Honor a Suffragist Look into your Community's History Evaluate government website Consumer Protection Project Reforming Gov. Persuasive Essay
Life Expectancy in PA State of the Union Fact Check Exploring Population Density Who gets fines? PA Founding Fathers
A Citizens' Guide to a Modern Constitutional Convention in PA.      

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posted 8/2006 In the spirit of Thomas Paine - released to public domain by Cynthia J. O'Hora

tree icon Save a tree - use a Digital Answer Sheet: Highlight the text of the questions on this web page, copy them - Edit .. Copy. Open a text document or word processing document. Paste the questions into the blank document. Answer the questions in the word processing document in a contrasting color or font ( not yellow, avoid fancy fonts like: black, Symbol, dearform fomnt or broad. Save frequently as you work. I do not like losing my work. You will not like it either. Put your name and the date in a header. Bad things happen. Retain a copy of your work on your computer. Submit your assignment via a class electronic drop box or email attachment. You may be working on this project at home, the public library and at school.

Proof your responses. It is funny how speling errors and typeos sneak in to the bets work. smiling icon Make Your Own Printed answer sheet

Tech Tip: Working in a group or in two different places like the library & home? You do not have to be physically together to work together. gold starWatch Google Docs video TAI - How could you use Google Docs to do a project? How would this facilitate group projects?

Aligned with the following Pa Academic Standards - Reading, Writing Speaking, History, Civics and Government, Mathematics, Civics, Science and Technology
Aligned with the National Standards for Civics and Government