Governor Tom Wolf signs bill to extend pandemic regulatory waivers – CBS Pittsburgh
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday signed legislation to extend hundreds of exemptions from regulations his administration has approved over the past 15 months under his declaration of pandemic disaster emergency to which lawmakers voted late.
The bill allows waivers to last until September 30, unless the Wolf administration terminates them earlier.
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The Republican-controlled legislature unanimously approved the bill, at the behest of Wolf, as a companion to the resolution drafted by the Republicans to end the disaster emergency declaration that passed almost along partisan lines.
Republicans called their decision to end the declaration to respect the will of the people in last month’s statewide referendum. In it, voters approved a Republican-backed constitutional amendment to give lawmakers sweeping new powers to expand and end disaster emergencies.
The resolution won’t come into effect until next week, at least, according to Wolf’s administration. Four counties had yet to submit signed certifications of their election results last month, and those were due next week, according to Wolf’s State Department.
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The suspended regulations cover a wide range of government requirements, including licensing, inspections and training.
The Wolf administration maintains that the disbandment of the disaster emergency does not affect the disease prevention authority of a secretary of health to issue mask-wearing and stay-at-home orders or shut down facilities. schools and non-essential businesses.
Wolf, in any case, halted these measures because the vaccine stemmed the spread of the virus. The exception is a mask-wearing mandate for unvaccinated adults that follows federal guidelines, to stay in place until June 28 or 70% of adults are vaccinated, whichever comes first.
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