Original jurisdiction in case of Milton J. Shapp, Governor, et al., Petitioners v. Grace M. Sloan, State Treasurer, Respondent, General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Intervening Respondent.
Melvin R. Shuster, Deputy Attorney General, with him J. Justin Blewitt, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, Vincent X. Yakowicz, Solicitor General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for petitioners.
James M. Marsh, Deputy State Treasurer and Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Roland Morris, with him Duane, Morris & Heckscher, for intervening respondent.
Sarah C. Carey, with her Cladouhos & Brashares, and, of counsel, Townsend, Elliot & Munson, for amicus curiae, Legis '50, the Center for Legislative Improvement.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Judge Kramer did not participate. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.
[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 314]
Cross motions for summary judgment supported by voluminous pleadings, affidavits and exhibits posture this struggle of constitutional proportion between the executive and legislative branches of our State government over fiscal control of Federal funds allocated or allocable to Pennsylvania under sundry Federal aid programs authorized by Acts of Congress and administered by various Federal agencies.
Being of the view that the pleadings, affidavits and exhibits raise no substantial issues of fact material to the disposition of the legal issues, it is appropriate that this litigation be decided upon the cross motions. Affidavits and counteraffidavits devoted to charges
[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 315]
and denials that the General Assembly acted as it did without full knowledge or understanding and that it wants of ability to legislatively cope with the multitude of Federal aid programs available to Pennsylvania, we do not consider as material or relevant to the legal issues.
On July 7, 1976, the Governor, various cabinet officers and the Governor's Justice Commission filed a petition for review directed against the State Treasurer challenging the constitutionality of Acts Nos. 117-1976 and 17-A-1976. The petition for review asserts the unconstitutionality of these acts under the separation of power doctrine embodied in the Pennsylvania Constitution, the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, and the Contract Clauses of both the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions. Petitioners seek a declaratory judgment holding these acts unconstitutional, and a writ of mandamus and injunctive relief directing the State Treasurer to honor the requisitions presented by all proper State officials for Federal funds appropriated and allocated to them pursuant to Acts of Congress.
In addition, petitioners sought a preliminary injunction to enjoin the State Treasurer from refusing to honor requisitions presented for payment of Federal funds to the Department of Justice for salaries and operating expenses incurred by the Office of the Special Prosecutor. After a hearing on July 13, 1976, this Court entered an Order dated July 15, 1976, denying the full scope of the relief requested, but granted a preliminary injunction directing the State Treasurer to honor requisitions submitted on behalf of the Office of the Special Prosecutor and issue his warrant for the payment of up to $176,843.00. This amount represented the unexpended balance of Federal funds allocated by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for the
[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 3161975]
-76 fiscal year, and the total amount of such LEAA funds physically in the State Treasury at that time and not otherwise encumbered. We reached this conclusion on the theory that Acts Nos. 117-1976 and 17-A-1976 arguably did not reach these funds.
An appeal to the Supreme Court from our Order granting preliminary injunctive relief was taken by the General Assembly, which was permitted to intervene on an interim basis by our Order dated July 13, 1976. Petitioners cross appealed from our denial of full preliminary injunctive relief which would have directed the State Treasurer to honor all requisitions for LEAA funds submitted on behalf of the Office of the Special Prosecutor until this Court decides the merits of petitioners' action.
The General Assembly also sought a stay pending appeal of this Court's Order of July 15, 1976, which was denied by us on July 16, 1976. After hearing argument on the application for stay, Mr. Justice Nix partially stayed our Order on July 16, 1976, allowing the State Treasurer to pay out only $50,000.00 of the $176,843.00 pending consideration of the matter by the Supreme Court en banc. On July 21, 1976, the Supreme Court, in a per curiam Order, vacated Mr. Justice Nix' stay and reinstated this Court's Order of July 15, 1976.
To insure that the Office of the Special Prosecutor would be financially able to continue its law enforcement activities after the expenditure of the $176,843.00 authorized by this Court's Order, petitioners filed an application for injunction pending appeal with the Supreme Court. Argument on this application was heard by Mr. Justice Nix on August 25, 1976, and the application is presently sub judice before the Supreme Court.*fn*
[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 317]
On September 8, 1976, this Court heard argument on the merits of the General Assembly's application to intervene, which has been granted. At that time, the Court took under advisement petitioners' motion for partial summary judgment as to the Federal funds being withheld from the Office of the Special Prosecutor by the State Treasurer.
On September 22, 1976, petitioners filed an application for modification of Order, requesting that the Court's Order of July 15, 1976, be modified to direct the State Treasurer to disburse additional LEAA funds now on deposit in the State Treasury to the Office of the Special Prosecutor. That application, the General Assembly's motion for summary judgment and petitioners' motion for partial summary judgment and cross motion for summary judgment are presently before this Court for disposition.
Asserting its constitutional right to coordinate and control the expenditure of Federal funds available to Pennsylvania under Federal aid programs as within its "power of the purse," the General Assembly in mid-1976 enacted two significant pieces of legislation. Over the Governor's veto, it enacted Act No. 117-1976 (S.B. No. 1542, Pr. No. 2068) effective June 29, 1976. Act No. 17-A-1976 (H.B. No. 1366, Pr. No. 3606), known as the Federal Augmentation Appropriation Act of 1976, was signed by the Governor on July 1, 1976, after he had line vetoed several appropriations contained in the legislation.*fn1
We here note that although the record is not entirely clear on the subject, it ...