Pennsylvania GOP Votes to End Gov Wolf’s COVID Emergency Declaration
Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers voted to end Governor Tom Wolf’s Coronavairus emergency declaration which he just renewed on June 3. The move sets up a court battle between the Republican controlled legislature, and the Democrat Governor. The restrictions were set in place by PA Health Secretary Rachel Levine and under her authority.
“The Senate voted on a resolution to end Governor Wolf’s statewide shut down, which has been hurting families and doing irreparable harm to employers. People need to have the freedom to return to normalcy and decide for themselves the level of engagement with society that they are comfortable doing… It is time to allow people the freedom to decide for themselves – to control their actions and decisions.” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman
The Senate voted on a resolution to end Governor Wolf's statewide shut down, which has been hurting families and doing irreparable harm to employers. The bipartisan vote ends the executive order first issued on March 6 and renewed on June 3. #OpenPA https://t.co/RJoXYXrgmr
— Senator Jake Corman (@JakeCorman) June 10, 2020
Nothing in the statute requires the resolution to go to the Governor for signature/veto. A concurrent resolution ending a disaster declaration is not an exercise of the legislature’s lawmaking authority that the Gov can sign/veto.
— Jenn Kocher (@jkocher156) June 9, 2020
Keep in mind that the shutdowns have cost the United States billions in terms of job losses, businesses lost, upticks in emotional disturbances including suicides, and total confusion over the “science” of the COVID-19 virus.
The resolution has caused the power hungry Governor to fight back and claim that they have no authority to countermand his emergency order. His statement is based on one Pennsylvania law, while the Pennsylvania GOP holds to another law.
The GOP cites this law: “The General Assembly by concurrent resolution may terminate a state of disaster emergency at any time. Thereupon, the Governor shall issue an executive order or proclamation ending the state of disaster emergency.” Pennsylvania Law
The Governor cites the State Constitution, which says that anything the legislature does requires his signature (hint – he’s not about to give it).
“Every order, resolution or vote … shall be presented to the Governor and before it shall take effect be approved by him, or being disapproved, shall be repassed by two-thirds of both Houses according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.” Pennsylvania Constitution
Then a Democrat Senator, Jay Costa said that the resolution does nothing and will not affect the emergency restrictions anyway. So there you have it: Pennsylvania trying to get out from under the rigid virus restrictions is becoming a nightmare for its citizens. It is likely that the situation weill have to be settled in the courts.
Featured photo: L- Governor Wolf, R-Senator Corman