Pennsylvania’s business shutdown waiver program gets audited

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A closed sign is displayed on the Pittsburgh Pirates spring training baseball gift shop at LECOM Park, Monday, March 16, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. Major League Baseball has delayed the start of its season by at least two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak and suspended the rest of its spring training schedule. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s business shutdown waiver program is being audited amid complaints it was managed unfairly.

Pennsylvania’s chief fiscal watchdog announced the audit on Thursday.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says he’s investigating how the Department of Community and Economic Development ran the waiver program, under which more than 40,000 businesses sought a waiver from the governor’s closure order.

Many businesses have complained about the process they contend has been slow and arbitrary.

“I’m pleased that Governor Wolf agrees that performing this audit is both appropriate and necessary,” DePasquale said. “I’m also pleased that DCED Secretary Dennis Davin has pledged to fully cooperate with my audit team.”

The Democratic governor is defending his administration’s handling of the waiver program.

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