HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania voted yes to limit the governor’s emergency powers during Tuesday’s vote. First in the nation to do so, Pennsylvanians have approved the constitutional amendment proposed by Republican lawmakers.
Their proposal was a direct response to how Governor Tom Wolf’s handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to Tuesday’s vote, the constitution required a two-thirds majority vote to end a governor’s disaster declaration, which allowed the governor to legally set in place an emergency declaration that could last up to 90 days and then be extended without limit.
Now, the governor’s emergency disaster power ends after 21 days and lawmakers are the only ones to have the authority to extend it or end it with a simple majority vote.
Bryan Cutler, House Speaker, and Kerry Benninghoff, Majority Leader, are much happier following the vote.
In a statement, they said, “To those contemplating litigation to stop the enforcement of the emergency disaster-related amendments, think twice before again ignoring the voice of the people.”