Governor Wolf Tightens Grip with Multiple Vetoes to the Dismay of Many Small Business Owners
Blocks legislative input and prevents an array of low-risk businesses from safely reopening
HARRISBURG (May 19, 2020) –Governor Tom Wolf took a stab at the legislature, county officials and at small businesses with his veto pen today, when he rejected three bills that would have threatened his exclusive authority on the economic reopening process. Two of the bills denied a number of low-risk business sectors from safely reopening. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) which advocates for 13,000 small businesses in Pennsylvania had supported all three bills.
“This is not a one man show and many duly elected lawmakers should have a say in the handling of this lock down of the people and small businesses they represent,” said NFIB Pennsylvania State Director Gordon Denlinger. “Many small business owners are beyond frustration with our Governor and his inability to intelligently balance the health crisis while also addressing the economic crisis in our state—there can be lives and livelihoods saved.”
“We have heard daily from numbers of small business owners who are not going to make it if there isn’t more flexibility granted soon—and other logical, safe and reasonable plans have been proposed to keep the vulnerable safe, while still offering relief to shuttered dying businesses or highly limited operations,” added Denlinger.
One of the vetoed bills is HB 2388, which would grant waivers to all manufacturers, garden centers, automobile dealerships, barber shops and salons, animal grooming, and messenger and agent services. Another, HB 2412, would grant waivers to real estate and legal services.
The third vetoed bill, SB 327, would have allowed individual counties to work closely with their health care providers and local businesses to develop emergency plans responsive to the situation in their counties. Those plans would have been required to be compliant with CISA and CDC health and safety guidelines.