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Pennsylvania Senate votes to end governor's emergency declaration for COVID-19

Pennsylvania Senate votes to end governor's emergency declaration for COVID-19

Pennsylvania’s Senate on Thursday voted to end Gov. Tom WolfTom WolfPennsylvania ends COVID-19 emergency declaration Pennsylvania Senate votes to end governor's emergency declaration for COVID-19 Governors can protect civil liberties, too MORE’s (D) COVID-19 emergency declaration, following a move earlier this week by the state House.

Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled legislature also ended Wolf’s ability to close businesses, implement occupancy requirements or initiate stay-at-home orders. 

At the same time, the Senate passed legislation that extends waiver protections initially put into effect during the COVID-19 pandemic to hold until Sept. 30.

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The move to end the governor’s emergency declaration comes only a month after a majority of Pennsylvanians voted in favor of two ballot constitutional amendments that would curb the governor's pandemic response. 

“Today we delivered on our promise to the citizens of Pennsylvania who voted yes to end the state of emergency at the ballot box in the primary,” state Sen. Kim Ward (R) said in a video on Twitter.  

But some Pennsylvania Democrats were upset over the move to end the emergency declarations.

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,” the Pennsylvania Senate Democrats said in a tweet.

“This is a compromise that will preserve much of the Governor's emergency declaration, and I am hopeful that it will not put our constituents at risk or harm the industries that have struggled in the last year,” the caucus added.