The Pennsylvania General Assembly voted Tuesday night with bipartisan support to pass a resolution terminating Governor Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 emergency declaration.
Two Senate Democrats and 11 House Democrats joined Republicans to pass House Resolution 836. Those who voted for the resolution argue the Pennsylvania Constitution mandates the governor must end the state of disaster emergency.
“Since early March, Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth have dealt with the heavy hand of government as a result of this declaration,” said House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom).
“The governor has used the power afforded to him under this declaration without input from the Legislature, suspending state laws, spending money without legislative approval, and his most unfair action of all, shutting down the family-sustaining careers of millions of Pennsylvanians.”
But State Senator Katie Muth (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) voted against the resolution.
“This resolution is dangerous. It’s impulsive and it puts Pennsylvania in danger of losing access to vital resources. It will be harmful to all of our constituencies in all 50 senate districts.”
Senator David Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill) voted for the resolution. He argued the state legislature and the governor are equal branches of government.
“The General Assembly never, ever intended to grant this governor, or any governor, the royal powers of a king. This legislation is an attempt to clarify our checks and balances.”
Cutler added the termination of Governor Wolf’s emergency declaration will not leave Pennsylvanians out to dry.
“The General Assembly has taken several significant steps to ensure nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and those most at-risk for contracting the virus have the resources necessary to save and protect lives.”
Wolf’s Administration claims the governor does have the power to veto the resolution. He will be hosting a press conference at 1 p.m. to address the resolution.