State Legislature Working With Wolf To Limit Emergency Declaration Powers, Local State Rep Says

Governor Tom Wolf and Middletown State Rep. Frank Farry.

State Rep. Frank Farry has revealed some behind the scenes details about Governor Tom Wolf’s renewed emergency disaster declaration.

The Republican from Middletown joined Speak Your Piece with Pat Wandling late last week. Farry said House leadership is working with Governor Tom Wolf to remain under a limited declaration.

Pennsylvania voters approved three constitutional amendments in last week’s primary. Two of them limit the governor’s powers regarding emergency disaster declarations.

Wolf’s latest declaration will only last 21 days in accordance with one of the recently approved constitutional amendments. Previous declarations have lasted 90 days each.

Some voters may have cast their ballots expecting to end Wolf’s declaration with no exceptions. But Farry notes there are some benefits to the keeping parts of the declaration that do not restrict Pennsylvanian’s freedoms.

“We need to ensure that the emergency declaration allows us to get federal relief dollars in certain areas, so we don’t want to compromise that,” said Farry. “But we certainly don’t want to continue living under a dictatorial role.”

Farry also explained the declaration gave relief for licensers. This gave retired doctors and nurses the chance to come back and work in healthcare. Even though their licenses may have expired due to retirement, they could help at the peak of the pandemic under temporary licenses.

“I’m sure we’re going to have some more discussions when we’re all together in Harrisburg next week on what needs to be done,” Farry said Friday. “This is all about the public. This is about doing what’s right for the public.”