GOVERNOR’S CONTINUING EMERGENCY POWERS SEEN AS OVERSTEP

The Pennsylvania Senate has voted to pass Senate Bill 2, which proposes an amendment to the Pa. Constitution that would require that the General Assembly approve a renewal of any emergency declaration after 21 days. The companion bill in the Pa. House, House Bill 55, is expected to be voted on within the next few days. Since this is an amendment to the state constitution, it avoids a potential veto from Governor Wolf. After passage by both chambers, the amendment would become a ballot measures during the upcoming May election. If this amendment passes in the House as it has in the Senate, it will allow the citizens of Pennsylvania to vote directly on reasserting their voice on a critical law impacting their own lives and livelihoods. The Commonwealth Foundation is supporting the measure, saying while any reasonable person understands the necessity of allowing a governor to quickly respond to emergencies, at the same time, any reasonable person also understands that no governor should be allowed to unilaterally make his or her unchecked emergency powers indefinite.

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