Penn. Republicans Celebrate Constitutional Amendment Limiting Government Emergency Powers: ‘Voice of the People’


Pennsylvania State Senate Republican President Jake Corman joined “The Ingraham Angle” on Thursday – two nights after Keystone state voters approved two landmark constitutional amendments limiting the governor’s emergency powers Democrat Tom Wolf and future leaders.

For more than 13 months, Wolf has largely acted alone by issuing socio-economic restrictions on coronaviruses under his emergency powers, as well as through the Disease Prevention and Control Act of 1955, which angered lawmakers and many Pennsylvania business owners affected by lockdowns and the sometimes abrupt nature of new additional restrictions.

The first new amendment essentially gives lawmakers the ability to end declarations of emergency by majority vote, while the second requires the governor to return to the legislature to request the renewal of emergency orders at 21 days.

Corman told host Laura Ingraham that her branch, the legislative branch, is the “voice of the people” and that the founders did not intend for a governor to exercise such power, independent of the General Assembly. .

“To be excluded during this period is unacceptable. It is not what the editors intended … I think other states will follow,” he said.

Ingraham asked the Leader of the Senate why it took the Pennsylvanians so long to limit Wolf’s powers, as it was one of many states like New York and New Jersey and California that were submitted until late. to the most severe restrictions.

“We had to take the constitutional path,” he said. “We had adopted a statute; the governor took us to court and we lost to a very liberal Pennsylvania Supreme Court. So we went to the constitutional amendment process… and it was voted on during this primary and the voters overwhelmingly supported it. It is a process that we had to do. “

Corman added that, with Wolf signaling his willingness to discuss the current declaration of emergency, he is eager to finally move on to negotiation.

“The language is clear. We could end an emergency at any time, or after 21 days [the governor] has to come to the legislature for an extension … We had to be at the table to have these discussions and be part of the process on how we govern Pennsylvania, ”he said.

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“We have already had discussions with the governor. We will put our opinions on the table on this. If we do not agree with the governor, we will end the emergency. But hopefully, we can work together now. “

Additionally, Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that voters’ passage of the amendments does not take away any real power from Wolf or a future governor:

“It restores the balance of power by giving people a say in how to manage their communities during emergencies,” she said.

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The weekend before the vote, anti-lockdown activists and community members also held a rally outside the capital Harrisburg, where speakers urged participants to come out and vote in an election otherwise weak primary.

Constitutional amendments are unlikely to be able to come into full force until the primary elections are certified by Acting Commonwealth Secretary Veronica Degraffenreid – who is expected to do so by June 7.

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