HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Would the state of Pennsylvania see positive change if the governor picked his running mate, and the two ran together? Some senators at the capitol discussed changing Pennsylvania's constitution to do exactly that and believe the change would help The Commonwealth.
Some lawmakers believe it would improve communication between the two highest government officials in Pennsylvania. Since it's a constitutional issue, Pennsylvanians have the ultimate say.
Some Pennsylvania state senators want to change the constitution so the gubernatorial candidate could pick his running mate after the primary election, similar to how the president and vice president run for office.
"Then, once elected, work together as a team, with a shared vision. This is not a difficult concept. It's simple common sense. The goal is teamwork and cooperation," said (R) Senator Dave Argall. He sponsored the proposed legislation.
Some lawmakers don't see teamwork currently between our two top elected officials -- Governor Tom Wolf and Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack. The relationship between the two men, or a perceived lack thereof, sparked the proposed reform.
"The dysfunction we're seeing on the second floor between the governor and the lieutenant governor has brought an old problem really to the forefront," said Senator Argall.
"Without communication, we don't get things done," said (R) Senator Mike Folmer.
Senator Argall says it's not the first time leaders of the executive branch haven't gotten along, nor is it the first talk of constitutional reform. This time, though, Argall hopes to see real change. He has 15 cosponsors. Senator Folmer believes the change could spare Pennsylvanians from executive branch ineffectiveness.
"He should have the right to know who his lieutenant is, and under his authority, he would be able to delegate whatever powers or duties that he wants to delegate to his lieutenant," said Senator Folmer.
Because it's a constitutional change, Pennsylvanians have the ultimate say.
First, the bill would have to be adopted by the house and the senate and then approved once again in 2019. Then, if passed, Pennsylvanians would vote.
"I believe if we get this issue on the ballot, given the current embarrassing situation up on the second floor, there's no doubt in my mind, the voters would approve it," added Senator Argall.
The discussion today is just the first of many talks about the constitutional change. Pennsylvanians could see the proposed change on ballots in November of 2020 at the earliest, November 2021 at the latest. Then, if Pennsylvania supports it, would change the process for the 2022 gubernatorial election.