Pa. House fails to override Gov. Wolf’s veto of bill that would’ve allowed more businesses to operate

By: Jan Murphy

Hoping to get barbers, hair stylists, animal groomers and more businesses reopened, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Wednesday attempted unsuccessfully to override Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of a bill that he said would undermine his measured phased-in approach to bringing back the state’s economy.

By a vote of 115-87, it fell short 21 votes of the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto. Had the House been successful in its override vote, the Senate also would have had to achieve support from two-thirds of the 50 senators for the measure to become law.

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Gov. Wolf talking with sports leagues, says it could take until vaccine for Pennsylvania to reach ‘normal’

By: Megan Guza

Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday he is talking with professional sports leagues about holding events in Pennsylvania, but he doesn’t believe residents will be completely comfortable going back to pre-pandemic normalcy until there is a coronavirus vaccine.

“Ultimately, I think what it’s going to take for everybody to feel safe going to a Penn State game or a basketball game is they have some confidence that they’re not going to get sick by being in close contact with somebody else,” he said during a call with reporters.

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Governor Wolf vetos three critical bills for reopening Pennsylvania

On Tuesday May 19, 2020, Governor Wolf vetoed three bills which would have accelerated Pennsylvania’s reopening process.

Wolf stated that the bills “go against the administration’s measured plan for reopening the state safely” and claimed that each violated the state’s separation of powers principle.

Senate Bill 327 was intended to delegate authority to Pennsylvania’s county commissioners to determine whether businesses may reopen safely.

House Bill 2388 would have permitted specified businesses to reopen, including car dealerships, garden centers, salons, messenger/agent services, animal grooming and manufacturing operations.

House Bill 2412 would have permitted legal and real estate services to resume.

Three Pa. counties still vow to reopen Friday without state approval, but Wolf thwarts larger rebellion

By: Charles Thompson

It appears Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration has limited, but not completely extinguished, a revolt from county commissioners in central and eastern Pennsylvania who were poised to challenge the state’s authority to lead a phased, coronavirus pandemic reopening plan at the start of this week.

What’s a little less clear is how the governor feels about the results of his damage control effort.

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Gov. Tom Wolf denounces Pa. counties reopening without his approval as ‘cowardly,’ ‘selfish’

By: Cynthia Fernandez

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf sternly rebuked Pennsylvania counties and businesses that plan to reopen without state approval, calling it a “cowardly act” that could cost those areas not only lives but federal stimulus money, too.

Over the past week, a host of lawmakers, district attorneys, and law enforcement agencies in counties still under strict COVID-19 closure orders said they planned to defy Mr. Wolf and unilaterally move themselves to the next phase of the governor’s reopening plan. State officials have given 37 counties the go-ahead to ease restrictions, lifting the stay-at-home order and allowing some businesses to reopen if they follow certain safety precautions.

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There are reasons Gov. Wolf’s red-yellow-green code draws questions

By: John Baer

We’ve been through color codes before.

Most notably, former Gov. Tom Ridge’s post-9/11 red, orange, yellow, blue, green palette of risks served up while he headed Homeland Security.

His code was more punchline than protection. As was his advice to buy duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal off rooms in case of chemical attacks.

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Senators examine Pa.’s reopening plan and what lies ahead

By: Jan Murphy

With Pennsylvania now on the path toward reopening its economy, a lot of questions weigh in the minds of state senators about what lies ahead in this ongoing battle against the coronavirus and how this reopening plan will work.

Members of the Senate Local Government and Health and Human Services committees on Monday began searching for answers at a joint hearing with representatives from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration as well as some local and health care officials.

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