NFIB issued the following news release
NFIB Applauds Passage of Constitutional Amendment Limiting a Governor’s Power During Emergency
Small businesses suffered throughout the pandemic when the legislative input wasn’t considered
HARRISBURG (Feb. 5, 2021) – Today, the state House passed a constitutional amendment that a governor’s emergency orders would expire in 21 days after they are issued and require legislative action to extend the state of emergency. Currently, those orders last 90 days, and a governor can continually extend them. The Senate already approved the constitutional amendment and it has passed the General Assembly for two years in a row, meaning Governor Tom Wolf cannot veto it, and now it will go to voters as a ballot question in the May Primary Election.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), a small business association with 13,000 members in Pennsylvania, reacted to the final passage of the constitutional amendment and look forward to the voters’ say on the matter. The following comments are attributable to NFIB’s State Director Gordon Denlinger:
“Throughout the pandemic small businesses have been subject to decisions by Governor Wolf that put their ability to operate and even stay in business in limbo, resulting in massive losses in revenue, and led to an unfair playing field with larger competitors who had a market advantage. Even though the legislature passed bills to remedy the situation at the request of small business constituents that included protections for public health, Gov. Wolf vetoed those bills in a dictatorial fashion.
“We are grateful that voters will now decide if good governance requires input from all three branches of government no matter who is in the Governor’s Mansion, and we know many small business owners think it should. A way existed to create a balance between the health crisis and the economic crisis in Pennsylvania, but the Governor was blind to that, even though lives and livelihoods were at stake on both fronts.”