HARRISBURG – PA voters became the first in the nation to impose restrictions on a governor’s authority under an emergency disaster declaration. They approved two ballot questions by state lawmakers angry over how Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf handled the COVID-19 pandemic response. The vote came as Republican lawmakers across the country have sought to roll back the emergency powers governors wielded during the pandemic. PA Republican state Senate leaders said “This decision by the people is not about taking power away from any one branch of government, rather it’s about re-establishing the balance of power between three equal branches of government as guaranteed by the constitution. Pennsylvanians have made their choice clear – they want to see more collaboration and better results from their state government when responding to emergencies. In the weeks ahead, we encourage Gov. Wolf to come back to the table and discuss not only how we can better manage emergencies like the current pandemic, but also how we can help our state recover from COVID-19.”

Republican leaders in the state House said, “The people of Pennsylvania have exercised their vote and resoundingly reaffirmed their desire for a government with strong checks and balances that works in their interests and not for its own power. In doing so, they have rejected the mutation of emergency authority into unilateral, one-person control that seeks expediency over the rule of law. We stand ready to reasonably and responsibly manage Pennsylvania through this ongoing global pandemic, the scourge of opioid addiction, and other long-term challenges that may come to face this Commonwealth.”