PA General Assembly votes to end emergency declaration, Wolf shrugs

Governor says declaration has 'nothing to do with reopening'

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HARRISBURG, PA — Both chambers of Pennsylvania's General Assembly have now passed a resolution to end Gov. Tom Wolf's COVID-19 emergency declaration. Republicans are touting this as a victory for small business owners who "no longer need to live under state-sanctioned quarantine." But Wolf has since responded that his three-phase, color-coded plan for reopening remains unaffected.

The legislation passed in the Senate 31-19 and in the House 121-81.

The legal ramifications of the measure depend on who you ask. According to PA Republicans, "the governor must issue an executive order or proclamation ending the state of disaster emergency," in accordance with the state code.

"That is not true," the governor's office released in a statement. "Not only does any concurrent resolution need to come to the governor for approval or disapproval, but the disaster declaration is separate from the orders signed by Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine under the Disease Prevention Act that include provisions for business reopening and for worker and building safety. Those orders remain in place. The legislature did nothing to end those."

The governor has outlined what the impact of the assembly's legislation would be if he were to approve it. 

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