Senate, House of Representatives Vote to End Emergency Declaration

HARRISBURG – After Schuylkill County voters approved two constitutional amendments limiting the Governor’s emergency powers by a margin of close to 9,000 votes, the Senate and House of Representatives voted today to end Gov. Tom Wolf’s emergency declaration, according to Senator David G. Argall, Rep. Jerry Knowles, Rep. Tim Twardzik, and Rep. Joe Kerwin, all of whom supported the measure. 

House Resolution 106 terminates the pandemic emergency declaration and ends the governor’s power to close employers, limit occupancy, suspend state statutes or issue stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19.  This resolution was passed by a bipartisan vote of 30-20 in the Senate and 121-81 in the House of Representatives.

“I voted in favor of this resolution because the people I represent in Berks and Schuylkill County voted by significant margins to limit the Governor’s unilateral emergency powers,” said Argall.  “We voted today to ensure that the Wolf Administration will no longer be able to act like kings.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of Pennsylvania’s economy,” said Knowles. “Over the last 15 months, the governor has used his unilateral discretion to launch an attack on businesses, keeping them closed. These decisions were made without any coordination between either branch of the General Assembly. Today, the Pennsylvania House and Senate restored the voice of the people and has moved to terminate the governor’s emergency declaration.”

“We have come together, in a bipartisan manner to restore the voice of all Pennsylvanians,” said Twardzik. “It is time to focus our resources on pushing Pennsylvania forward and jumpstarting our economic recovery. I am proud to stand alongside my colleagues in voting yes to end the governor’s ability to shut down private businesses and force people to stay home.” 

“It’s simple – Pennsylvanians have spoken,” said Kerwin “We have restored the people’s voice and ended King Wolf’s unilateral decision-making. It is time to work together. We in the House stand ready to continue our work on behalf of our districts.”

Voters approved two constitutional amendments in May that limited the length of disaster declarations and gave the General Assembly the sole power to extend a governor’s initial disaster declaration. The General Assembly also passed legislation to ensure critical requirements remain in place to safeguard the health and well-being of Pennsylvanians. 



Argall: Jim Brugger   717.787.2637

Knowles, Twardzik, Kerwin: Matt Deegan   717.260.6328