PA legislature passes resolution to end shutdown but Wolf’s office says that won’t happen

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — There was noticeable activity in the Pennsylvania legislature on Tuesday after a resolution looking to end Gov. Wolf’s shutdown passed both the state House and Senate.

House Resolution 836 passed the Pennsylvania House to end the emergency declaration and state shutdown for the coronavirus pandemic. It was approved by the Senate earlier in the evening after being split along party lines.

Republicans say this is what’s best for businesses, although Democrats disagree.

It remains unclear now that the House has passed it, if the resolution requires Wolf’s approval or not. There is disagreement regarding what the constitution requires.

Late Tuesday evening, Gov. Wolf spokeswoman Lyndsay Kensinger said the passage of HR 836 does not terminate Wolf’s declaration or mean the shutdown is over as some GOP members have been posting online, saying in part in a statement to ABC 27:

“When the concurrent resolution is presented to him, as the Constitution requires, he will disapprove it. Until then, no action will be taken. The disaster proclamation has not been terminated by the House or Senate’s actions. Only the governor can terminate the disaster emergency.

That said, this resolution would not affect the Secretary of Health’s order including business closure orders, building safety orders, and business safety orders, and therefore the Administration’s phased reopening plan and associated orders would remain in place even if it passes.

For additional background purposes here’s the references in PA Constitution:

Pa. Const. Art. III, § 9. Action on concurrent orders and resolutionsEvery order, resolution or vote, to which the concurrence of both Houses may be necessary, except on the question of adjournment, shall be presented to the Governor and before it shall take effect be approved by him, or being disapproved, shall be repassed by two-thirds of both Houses according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.

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