Gov. Wolf to veto bill allowing businesses to reopen amid COVID-19 pandemic


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — After Pennsylvania legislature moved along Senate Bill 613, split mostly along party lines, Gov. Tom Wolf is anticipated to veto it.

Senate Bill 613 was passed by the state Senate on Wednesday and the House on Tuesday, although the governor appears to disagree with the legislation and does not approve of reopening businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

His spokesperson said he will veto the largely GOP-supported bill, which was sent to his desk on Wednesday.

“The governor plans to veto SB 613. As the administration has stated many times, irresponsibly going against the direction of the Secretary of Health and reopening businesses too early will only extend the length of the economic hardships created by the pandemic,” Wolf spokesperson Lyndsay Kensinger said in an email.

Senate Bill 613 would have required the governor to develop and implement a mitigation plan for businesses that align with the CDC and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Businesses would be eligible to reopen during the pandemic as long as they follow CDC health standards, under CISA terms.

The governor began his order to close non-life sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania in mid-March.

Wolf has previously acknowledged that opening the state would be a gradual process. He and several neighboring state governors announced a joint effort on Monday to reopen states once the threat of COVID-19 has diminished.

Below is a letter sent by Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine to senators:

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