Pennsylvania Senate Seeks to Extend Exemptions Under Declaration of Disaster | State legislators
HARRISBURG – The Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Legislature appeared to withdraw a complete end to the governor’s declaration of emergency for a pandemic disaster on Wednesday, with lawmakers working to decide which regulatory waivers to extend.
The House on Tuesday passed a pro-party bill to end the declaration, including the hundreds of regulatory waivers that Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration approved under the declaration of emergency dating back to March 2020 .
But a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, said Wednesday the Senate was working to keep some of the waivers in place.
“With the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians at the top of our decisions, we are working to keep health care measures in place for a period of time,” spokeswoman Erica Wright said in a statement.
A vote by Republican lawmakers to end Wolf’s declaration of emergency in the event of a pandemic disaster executes what they see as the new powers given to them by voters in last month’s nationwide referendum. the state.
A key part of a disaster declaration is the power of a governor to override a regulation.
The suspended regulations cover a wide range of government requirements. Many healthcare licensing regulations have been lifted to ensure that hospitals can more easily find qualified medical staff as they have stretched out to handle an influx of COVID-positive patients.