Pa. Senate votes to end pandemic emergency declaration

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Senate voted Thursday to end Governor Tom Wolf’s emergency declaration orders. However, the move still ensures Pennsylvania can take necessary steps to recover, according to Senator Ryan Aument (R-36), who supported the measures.

House Resolution 106 terminates the pandemic emergency declaration and ends the governor’s power to close employers, limit occupancy, suspend state statutes, or issue stay-at-home orders due to the dwindling coronavirus pandemic.

“Pennsylvania voters spoke loud and clear on May 18 when they approved the two constitutional amendments limiting a governor’s power during emergencies,” Aument said. “We heard them, and today we acted to end the Governor’s unchecked power and give Pennsylvanians the freedom they’ve been demanding for months.”

The development comes weeks after Governor Tom Wolf drew criticism for signing a renewal on May 20.

The Senate also approved House Bill 854 on Thursday, which ensures all waivers previously effective under the COVID-19 emergency to remain in effect until Sept. 30, 2021, unless sooner terminated.

PaSenateDems responded on twitter saying “While I disagree with the decision to end the emergency declaration in HR106, I will be supporting HB854 which extends many important protections of such a declaration through Sept 30.”

“While many of the provisions in the Governor’s COVID-19 mitigation orders were overburdensome, arbitrary, and unfair, there were some provisions like the telemedicine waiver that we all agree have improved the lives of Pennsylvanians throughout the last year,” Aument said. “We voted today to ensure that these provisions remain in place as our Commonwealth continues to recover and rebuild in the aftermath of this pandemic.”

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