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State Legislature Votes To Override Governor on Shutdown Order

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The Pennsylvania state legislature passed a resolution Tuesday to override Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus disaster declaration and direct the governor to “issue an executive order or proclamation ending the state of disaster emergency.”

The Republican-controlled General Assembly voted on the resolution to end the declaration issued on March 6 and renewed on June 3. Republicans were joined by some Democrats in passing the measure.

“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,” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman tweeted.

“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. We have educated ourselves. The public has guidelines. Our employers have guidelines.”

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Lawmakers say that the governor does not have the power to veto the resolution, but Wolf’s office says that he will veto the bill once it is presented to him, the Patriot-News reported.

“Until then, no action will be taken,” Wolf spokeswoman Lyndsay Kensinger said.

“The disaster proclamation has not been terminated by the House or Senate’s actions. Only the governor can terminate the disaster emergency.”

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The governor says that Article III, Section 9 of the state constitution says that the resolution “shall be presented to the governor and before it shall take effect be approved by him, or being disapproved, shall be re-passed by two-thirds of both Houses according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.”

However, House Republicans argue a different section of the constitution gives the state legislature the authority to terminate the disaster emergency declaration.

“That yes vote is a reflection of your constituents who have said enough is enough,” Republican Rep. Russ Diamond said.

“That yes vote brings an end to our long collective nightmare.”

Corman added, “We’re reclaiming our rights. It’s time. The fear is over.”

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In a letter to lawmakers, Wolf said that he would not end the emergency declaration prematurely because it will be “disastrous for the Commonwealth.”

“Termination of a disaster emergency in Pennsylvania signals to the federal government that COVID-19 is no longer ‘of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments,'” the letter read.

“More importantly, if the Commonwealth acts to end its disaster emergency, it signals to the federal government that supplementary federal assistance is no longer needed.”

The issue could be solved in the courts or the governor may decide to issue a new emergency disaster declaration.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Birthplace
Tucson, Arizona
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated with Honors
Education
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Location
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith




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