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Court throws out 2012 welfare law because of how bill was enacted


The state Capitol building in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Harrisburg) — A Pennsylvania law that ended cash welfare benefits in 2012 and changed other human services provisions is being invalidated over methods used to push it through the Legislature by Republican majorities.

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously struck down the multi-faceted legislation because its passage violated state constitutional requirements that bills be in each chamber for at least three session days before being voted out.

The bill ended about $150 million in annual cash payments to some 60,000 destitute Pennsylvanians. It also dealt with nursing home assessments, dependent children custodians and welfare work requirements.

The majority opinion says wording that had been added to the bill didn’t meet constitutional requirements that it be germane to its subject and, as a result, never received the required three days of consideration.

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