Wolf, lawmakers clash over emergency declaration
HARRISBURG – Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the GOP-led Legislature headed toward a legal clash Wednesday over the emergency declaration he issued at the beginning of the pandemic, with lawmakers voting to end it and Wolf insisting he holds veto power.
In largely party-line votes, the Legislature approved late Tuesday ending Wolf’s 3-month-old emergency proclamation and restarting businesses and other activities shut down as COVID-19 began tightening its grip on Pennsylvania. Retailers and many other kinds of businesses have since been permitted to reopen, but with restrictions.
Supporters of the resolution – which they asserted would do away with many, if not all, pandemic restrictions – maintained that state law authorizes the Legislature to end the emergency declaration unilaterally. Wolf believes that still requires his support and vowed Wednesday to fight the resolution in court.
House leadership also threatened legal action.
“If the governor chooses to openly violate the plain reading of the law, we will examine all legal actions available to us to act in the best interest of the residents of the commonwealth,” House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, said in a news release Wednesday.