PA Senate votes to end governor’s declaration of COVID-19 emergency and keep protections in place


PennsylvaniaThe Republican-controlled Senate voted to end Governor Tom Wolf’s term on Thursday COVID-19[female[feminine emergency lockdown order while keeping some pandemic protections intact.

Pennsylvanians voted in May to strip Democratic Governor Tom Wolf of the emergency powers he imposed last year.

“Today we delivered on our promise to the citizens of Pennsylvania who voted yes to end the state of emergency at the primary polls,” Republican Senator Kim Ward said in a video posted to Twitter.

The move came a week after the state’s Republican legislature voted to block Wolf’s declaration of emergency in an effort to keep businesses open and block stay-at-home orders.

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The Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus tweeted Thursday that while it disagreed with Republican senators’ vote to end Wolf’s declaration of emergency, it would support HB854, “which expands many important protections of such a declaration until September 30 “.

The protections include the continuation of statewide telehealth services and “greater flexibility in health care to continue to fight COVID19,” Democratic state senators said.

Wolf renewed the emergency disaster order on May 20, saying that if he planned to lift “all mitigation measures on Remembrance Day,” the state needed “a little more. time in connection with this current disaster declaration to ensure that we are not risking valuable resources that will help Pennsylvania recover from the pandemic. “

“Disaster declaration enables more healthcare professionals to administer vaccines, ensures families financially affected by the pandemic have access to healthy food through SNAP benefits, and ensures that Pennsylvania counties and businesses remain eligible to federal disaster recovery dollars, ”he said at the time.

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Republican lawmakers have repeatedly criticized Wolf’s handling of the pandemic, including his orders affecting businesses, sending students home for online schooling and ordering masks worn outside the home – most of which have since been lifted.

The governor also said in May that the state would lift a mask mandate for the unvaccinated based on federal guidelines when the state reached a 70% inoculation rate.

Before state lawmakers voted in May to limit the governor’s emergency powers, Pennsylvania’s constitution required a two-thirds majority vote to end a governor’s declaration of disaster and, legally , the governor could issue a declaration of emergency for up to 90 days and extend it without limit. .

Bradford Betz of Fox News contributed to this report.

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