HARRISBURG – A resolution to end the COVID-19 emergency declaration in Pennsylvania was presented to Gov. Wolf for his signature today. The termination was delayed after the Wolf administration took legal action to block the implementation of HR 836 despite a bipartisan adoption by the General Assembly.
“Because of Gov. Wolf’s unilateral actions during this emergency declaration millions of citizens have been forced out of work and 1.7 million school children were denied educational opportunities. The impact of Gov. Wolf’s short-sighted decisions will be felt for months, and potentially years to come,” Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) and Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) said. “The transmittal of HR 836 was done in accordance with a divided 4-3 decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court based on procedural issues. Importantly, the court noted that ‘We express no opinion as to whether the Governor’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes wise or sound policy.’
“We believe it is our duty as the elected voices of the people of Pennsylvania to continue to do everything in our power to help the state rebuild and recover. Today’s presentment is part of that process and it is by no means the end of our efforts.”
“By presenting HR 836 to Governor Wolf for signature, we are hopeful he will abandon his attempt to govern on his own and begin to work with the legislature to do what is in the best interest of all Pennsylvanians,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) and Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34). “The unilateral decisions made by the executive branch caused hardships for families and communities in every corner of the Commonwealth. Despite the challenges that can be seen across the state, the Governor has repeatedly spurned attempts by the General Assembly to provide input through legislation. While we work to protect lives, we cannot disregard the civil liberties of Pennsylvanians. Our Constitution established three, co-equal branches of government that provides checks and balances. By signing this resolution, he has the opportunity to demonstrate an understanding that our laws do not allow a governor to infringe on our civil liberties and create a new normal, but rather we should all work together.”
The General Assembly has acted in a bipartisan manner to pass dozens of pandemic related bills. Including efforts to reopen the state, extending necessary resources to vulnerable populations and nursing homes, ensuring our state’s children are educated and hold the administration accountable for unilateral actions.