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Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Art. VIII, § 7. Commonwealth indebtedness

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(a) No debt shall be incurred by or on behalf of the Commonwealth except by law and in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(1) Debt may be incurred without limit to suppress insurrection, rehabilitate areas affected by man-made or natural disaster, or to implement unissued authority approved by the electors prior to the adoption of this article.

(2) The Governor, State Treasurer and Auditor General, acting jointly, may (i) issue tax anticipation notes having a maturity within the fiscal year of issue and payable exclusively from revenues received in the same fiscal year, and (ii) incur debt for the purpose of refunding other debt, if such refunding debt matures within the term of the original debt.

(3) Debt may be incurred without limit for purposes specifically itemized in the law authorizing such debt, if the question whether the debt shall be incurred has been submitted to the electors and approved by a majority of those voting on the question.

(4) Debt may be incurred without the approval of the electors for capital projects specifically itemized in a capital budget, if such debt will not cause the amount of all net debt outstanding to exceed one and three-quarters times the average of the annual tax revenues deposited in the previous five fiscal years as certified by the Auditor General.  For the purposes of this subsection, debt outstanding shall not include debt incurred under clauses (1) and (2)(i), or debt incurred under clause (2)(ii) if the original debt would not be so considered, or debt incurred under subsection (3) unless the General Assembly shall so provide in the law authorizing such debt.

(b) All debt incurred for capital projects shall mature within a period not to exceed the estimated useful life of the projects as stated in the authorizing law, and when so stated shall be conclusive.  All debt, except indebtedness permitted by clause (2)(i), shall be amortized in substantial and regular amounts, the first of which shall be due prior to the expiration of a period equal to one-tenth the term of the debt.

(c) As used in this section, debt shall mean the issued and outstanding obligations of the Commonwealth and shall include obligations of its agencies or authorities to the extent they are to be repaid from lease rentals or other charges payable directly or indirectly from revenues of the Commonwealth.  Debt shall not include either (1) that portion of obligations to be repaid from charges made to the public for the use of the capital projects financed, as determined by the Auditor General, or (2) obligations to be repaid from lease rentals or other charges payable by a school district or other local taxing authority, or (3) obligations to be repaid by agencies or authorities created for the joint benefit of the Commonwealth and one or more other State governments.

(d) If sufficient funds are not appropriated for the timely payment of the interest upon and installments of principal of all debt, the State Treasurer shall set apart from the first revenues thereafter received applicable to the appropriate fund a sum sufficient to pay such interest and installments of principal, and shall so apply the money so set apart.  The State Treasurer may be required to set aside and apply such revenues at the suit of any holder of Commonwealth obligations.

Cite this article: - Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Art. VIII, § 7. Commonwealth indebtedness - last updated January 01, 2019 |

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