Southwest State Committee Caucus

Wagner Legislation To Create Religious Freedom Preservation Commission

Diverse Body Will Review Proposals Or Existing Language Regarding The Freedom To Practice One’s Faith

2018 gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner today announced plans to create a Religious Freedom Preservation Commission, which would balance religious liberty with anti-discrimination policies — proposed legislation he hinted would be coming during the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference this past weekend.

Click HERE to view the full co-sponsorship memo.

Acting in his capacity as a state Senator, Wagner detailed feedback he’d received from leaders across the state: “As I’ve traveled across the Commonwealth for the past four years, it has become clear to me that a large segment of Pennsylvanians believe religious freedom is not being properly respected by Harrisburg,” said Wagner.  “The right to worship freely  was one of the main reasons Pennsylvania was founded, and it’s one of the things that makes our state such a great place to live. This legislation will reinforce our commitment to religious tolerance, and give leaders of all faiths what they have been yearning for for a long time, a more active voice in their government.”

The commission will be an independent body, comprised of individuals from various religious faiths and backgrounds. Upon request from a member of the General Assembly or the Administration, the commission shall review any proposed legislation, any regulation, or statute. They will be tasked with conducting a complete and thorough review and assessment of any proposal or existing language that may negatively impact the freedom to practice one’s faith, the freedom to speak or express one’s faith, or that may discriminate against the individual members of a faith or faith institution as a whole within the Commonwealth.

Furthermore, the commission will be empowered to recognize and highlight uniquely faithful community celebrations and contributions that have made, and will continue to make, Pennsylvania a beacon of religious freedom.