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State rep proposes age-limit amendment to state Constitution

Age will be a primary talking point for both major political parties as the country hurtles toward a presumptive 2020 presidential election rematch that will see both candidates in their 80s at the end of the upcoming term.

A Blair County Republican has proposed a state Constitutional amendment that would prohibit that at the state level.

“We have lately seen firsthand the effects of the physical and mental aging process on older public officials at the highest levels of government, raising serious questions about their ability to carry the burdens of the offices they hold,” Rep. Louis C. Schmitt said in a legislative memo.

Currently, the state Constitution requires that judges must retire at age 75, though a path is available for service as a senior judge.

Similar restrictions are not currently in place for other elected state offices.

The specific language has yet to be introduced but Schmitt’s memo outlines the scope of his proposal.

“I will soon introduce a joint resolution that would amend Article VII of the PA Constitution to preclude potential candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Auditor General, State Treasurer, and Member of the General Assembly from standing for election to any of these offices upon turning 75 years of age,” he wrote.

“There is an inevitable decline in one’s mental and physical capabilities that naturally accompanies advancing age, which only accelerates as the years pass by,” he added.

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