PA Gov. Tom Wolf Faces Ballot Initiative Which Would Effectively Strip Him of Emergency Coronavirus Powers

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 21: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf addresses supporters before former President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally for statewide Democratic candidates on September 21, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Midterm election day is November 6th. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Mark Makela/Getty Images

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who has implemented some of the most stringent coronavirus rules in the country, will soon face a ballot initiative that would effectively strip him of emergency coronavirus powers.

The municipal primary elections are May 18, where voters will face four statewide questions on their ballot, two of which directly relate to the governor’s emergency powers.

One of those questions asks if the state constitution should be amended to “change existing law and increase the power of the General Assembly to unilaterally terminate or extend a disaster emergency declaration — and the powers of Commonwealth agencies to address the disaster regardless of its severity pursuant to that declaration — through passing a concurrent resolution by simple majority, thereby removing the existing check and balance of presenting a resolution to the Governor for approval or disapproval.”

The second question related to emergency powers asks if the state constitution should be amended to make disaster emergency declarations expire automatically after 21 days:

Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law so that: a disaster emergency declaration will expire automatically after 21 days, regardless of the severity of the emergency, unless the General Assembly takes action to extend the disaster emergency; the Governor may not declare a new disaster emergency to respond to the dangers facing the Commonwealth unless the General Assembly passes a concurrent resolution; the General Assembly enacts new laws for disaster management?

According to the WJACTV, the questions are related to actions the legislature took last June after lawmakers attempted to end the pandemic emergency:

But the courts ruled that Gov. Tom Wolf still had the ability to veto the resolution, which he did. The house failed to get the two-thirds vote needed to override the veto, so the emergency overture was dead.

If amended, the rules would permit the state legislature to end an emergency declaration without the governor’s approval.

Wolf originally declared an emergency over a year ago, in March 2020. In the following months, he earned the nickname “Commie Tommy” due to his stringent lockdown orders, failing to allow businesses to open and operate.

“I’m here protesting Commie Tommy Tom Wolf,” one Pennsylvania resident told Breitbart News during a May protest.

“Threatening to take away licenses to open your business, your liquor licenses, et cetera. He is refusing to let people run their lives and feed their families,” she added. “This is America. This is not Stalinist Russia. But he is trying to turn Pennsylvania into his own makeshift Stalinist Russia, and we won’t stand for it.”

The state is expected to lift remaining coronavirus restrictions May 31, but Wolf said he will not lift the mask mandate until 70 percent of Pennsylvania adults are fully vaccinated.

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