pa regulation constitutional amendment

Review of Regulation Constitutional Amendment

What is the Constitutional Amendment on Legislative Review of Regulations?

  • This amendment would allow the legislature to reject a proposed regulation by passing a concurrent resolution with a simple majority vote of both House and Senate. Importantly, no governor could veto the resolution.
  • Currently, the Pennsylvania Regulatory Review Act allows the legislature to pass a disapproval resolution of a proposed regulation (and provides a timeline for doing so).[1] However, the act allows the governor to veto the resolution, keeping the regulation in place over the objection of a majority of the legislature. To stop a regulation, lawmakers must muster a two-thirds, veto-proof majority.


  • From day one, former Governor Wolf had a shaky relationship with the General Assembly. In eight years, Wolf vetoed 65 pieces of legislation passed by the House and Senate.
    • This exceeds the number of vetoes of his four predecessors (i.e., governors Corbett, Rendell, Ridge, and Schweiker) combined. Since 1978, the three legislative sessions with the most vetoes all belong to Wolf.[2]
  • Wolf’s failure to work collaboratively with the legislature led him to pursue workarounds. In many cases, he attempted to legislate by executive order or sweeping regulatory changes.[3] The courts struck down or have delayed at least nine of these actions.
  • On three occasions, the legislature passed resolutions to disapprove Wolf administration regulations—but in all three, Wolf vetoed the resolution, allowing his regulation to proceed unilaterally.
  • These examples of regulatory overreach correspond directly with the policy reforms Wolf failed to achieve as governor. Namely: gutting education choices for families, reducing our ability to produce clean and affordable energy, and increasing wage mandates.
    • Wolf’s 2022 charter school regulations—designed to prevent the creation of new charters—were withdrawn thanks to a budget agreement Wolf signed in July 2022.[4]
    • Wolf’s unilateral decision to enter Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is currently enjoined, awaiting court action.[5] In the case of RGGI, a legislative veto override attempt fell a single vote short of the two-thirds majority needed in the Senate. These regulations are estimated to increase electricity bills by 24 to 36 percent on top of an average 73 percent increase since 2020.[6]
    • In October 2020, the administration finalized a regulation to increase the threshold for salaried workers exempt from overtime pay. These wage rules created onerous challenges for small businesses and non-profits already reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic and facing workforce shortages.[7] Wolf vetoed the legislature’s disapproval resolution in May 2020. But in the 2021 state budget, Wolf again agreed to repeal the regulation in return for $100 million in additional district public school funding.[8]
    • Rescinding charter school regulations and wage regulations in budget deals show Wolf used Pennsylvania’s unbalanced regulatory approval process to pressure the legislature into spending more taxpayer dollars.

Reasons for the Constitutional Amendment

  • Protects Checks and Balances: Unilateral efforts to work around the legislature, witnessed repeatedly under Wolf, undermine the balance of power in state government. A constitutional change is necessary to restore checks-and-balances in the Pennsylvania capitol.
    • Involving the legislature in regulatory oversight is common. Forty-three states have some form of meaningful legislative review.[9]
  • Promotes Bipartisanship: This amendment ensures a bipartisan legislative process to pass policy—not one person issuing executive orders. Whether you are Republican or Democrat, it shouldn’t matter. Our elected officials in Pennsylvania should be working together to pass policy.
  • Promotes Accountability: The amendment allows your elected legislators to block extreme and harmful regulations proposed by unelected government bureaucrats. For example, state agencies would not be able to unilaterally raise taxes on electricity.
  • Protects Democracy: The legislature is the most democratic body of state government; they re-elect their representatives every two years. Undermining their power to approve dramatic policy changes gags the voice of the voters.


Passing this commonsense constitutional amendment will grow Pennsylvania’s economy, create jobs, and lower home electric bills.

[1]Pennsylvania General Assembly, 1982 Act 181: Regulatory Review Act, as amended June 30, 1989,

[2]Pennsylvania General Assembly, “Legislation Enacted: Bills That Have Been Vetoed,” accessed January 13, 2022,

[3]Maddie Hanna, “Pa.Supreme Court Strikes Down School Mask Mandate Imposed by Wolf Administration,” Philadelphia Inquirer, December 10, 2021 [update],; Jon Moss, “Pa. Commonwealth Court Permanently Blocks Gov. Tom Wolf’s Bridge Tolling Plan,” Pittsburg Post-Gazette, July 1, 2022,; Jonathan Lai and Jeremy Roebuck, “Pa. Supreme Court orders Counties to Set Aside Undated and Wrongly Dated Ballots and Not Count Them,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 1, 2022 [update],

[4]Commonwealth Foundation, “What to Know About the 2022 Pennsylvania State Budget Deal,“ July 7, 2022,

[5]Cassie Miller, “Pa. Appeals Court Hears Oral Arguments in Fight Over RGGI,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, November 16, 2022,; Marley Parish, “Attempt to Block Pa. From Joining Multi-State Climate Initiative Fails in Senate,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, April 4, 2022,

[6]Commonwealth Foundation, “Rising Electricity Costs,” November 20, 2022,

[7]Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association, “Proposed Overtime Rule Slams Taxpayers and Employers,” accessed January 16, 2023,

[8]Robert Pritchard, ”Pennsylvania Rule Increasing White Collar Exemption Salary Threshold Takes Effect,” Littler, October 5, 2020,; Pennsylvania General Assembly, 2021 Act 70, Session of 2021: No. 2021-70, last action July 9, 2021,

[9]Brian Baugus, Feler Bose, and James Broughel, ”50 State Review of Regulatory Procedures,” Mercatus Center, April 2022,