The purpose of emergency declarations is to enable the governor to act quickly in an emergency to give the legislature time to assemble the facts and determine a solution. The weakness in the current process is that the governor can keep renewing the declaration as long as he likes; even in opposition of the legislature.
Under current law, a governor’s emergency declaration can last up to 90 days and be renewed by the governor indefinitely. Since March of 2020, Governor Tom Wolf used this blanket authority to change and suspend state laws, prevent shuttered businesses from reopening with safety measures in place, and spend state and federal taxpayer dollars with no oversight or input from the citizen’s representatives in the legislature.
Gov. Wolf issued the first 90-day Proclamation of Disaster Emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic on March 6th, 2020, and has since unilaterally extended it 4 times – without any input from your elected legislators! He shuttered our economy, kept kids out of the classroom, and had the Secretary of State bypass protections in the Election Code to benefit his party all under his emergency declaration.
The Legislature passed amendments to the PA Constitution with BI- PARTISAN support that would limit an emergency declaration to 21 days unless the Legislature approves to extend it. In an attempt to protect his unchecked power, Governor Wolf’s administration issued slanted ballot questions that are confusing voters. Montco’s own Senator Bob Mensch has published the below op-ed outlining these amendments clearly.
If you want your voice heard, vote YES to the constitutional amendments in the May 18th Primary Election!