Pa. Supreme Court overturns law that ended general cash assistance

"The court is sending a message to the legislature to clean up its act."

Tony Romeo
July 18, 2018 - 6:15 pm



HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — The Wolf administration says it is reviewing and assessing the impact of a state Supreme Court ruling that has struck down a law that ended Pennsylvania's general cash assistance program for those in need.

The law that ended cash assistance was passed by the legislature and signed by then Gov. Tom Corbett in 2012. 

In overturning the law, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did not, however, rule on the substance of it, but rather it based its ruling on what it called the "peculiar" way the bill was enacted — a way that essentially played fast and loose with constitutionally mandated procedure. 

"The court is sending a message to the legislature to clean up its act," said Bruce Ledewitz, a professor of Pennsylvania constitutional law at Duquesne University, "because the Pennsylvania Constitution has very strict requirements for how you pass legislation."

As to the immediate impact of the decision, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services said it will take "some time" to review the ruling.