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PA. Gov. Wolf Vetoes 3 Coronavirus-Related Bills
Gov. Wolf has vetoed 3 coronavirus-related bills, including measures that would have reopened real estate, barbershops, salons, and more.
By Kara Seymour, Patch Staff, May 19, 2020:
Gov. Wolf has vetoed 3 coronavirus-related bills, including measures that would have reopened real estate, barbershops, salons, and more. Gov. Wolf has vetoed 3 coronavirus-related bills, including measures that would have reopened real estate, barbershops, salons, and more. (Office of Gov. Tom Wolf)
HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed three coronavirus-related bills that he says “go against the administration’s measured plan for reopening the state safely.”
Gov. Wolf on Tuesday vetoed Senate Bill 327, House Bill 2388, and House Bill 2412.
Senate Bill 327 would have permitted counties to develop and implement their own mitigation plans and decide when businesses within their county could reopen during the pandemic.
House Bill 2388 would have allowed certain industries to reopen statewide. Under the legislation, car dealers, garden centers, salons, barbershops, messenger and agent services, animal grooming services and manufacturing operations would have reopened.
House Bill 2412 would have permitted legal services and real estate sales to resume.
However, Gov. Wolf said the real estate industry can now conduct limited business-related activities, and provided this guidance for the industry to operate in red and yellow phase counties.
“Since the beginning of this month, my administration has been gradually transitioning counties from the restrictive red phase to an intermediate yellow phase,” Wolf wrote in his veto message. “The decisions to move counties from the red phase to the yellow phase are based on the advice of expert epidemiologists. These decisions are not based just on the number of cases of COVID-19, but are also based on other critical factors, such as how community members interact, the county’s number of potential transmission points, a county’s geographic location, the capacity to undertake contact tracing, and testing availability.”
Not surprisingly, Republicans in Harrisburg expressed outrage.
Senate Republican leaders issued a statement condemning his decision. “With his veto pen, Gov. Wolf has struck down much-needed clarity and consistency that allows communities to continue to reopen safely within the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state Department of Health to protect lives and livelihoods,” the Senate Republican leaders said.
The House Republican Caucus, in its own statement, said “Wolf has determined and proved that he alone shall have the ultimate power over our state’s future.”
They called the governor unsupportive of alternative plans to restart the economy. “While millions of Pennsylvanians watch their livelihoods evaporate, the governor continues to arbitrarily choose who can thrive, and who will fail,” the House Republicans said.
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