Emergency power issues merit support

How has the past year-plus gone for you?

Have you had to face furloughs or educate your children remotely at home, all the while trying to work yourself and keep an income coming in?

Has your workplace or business been forced to close, at least temporarily?

Are you satisfied with the state of Pennsylvania, in general, since state-mandated closures and restrictions of all varieties began in mid-March 2020?

Are you a registered voter, of any persuasion?

If so, then we urge you to go to the polls this Tuesday and cast a ballot for liberty.

Liberty, in this case, comes in the form of a single person in government’s ability to affect your life to the long-term extreme that occurred during the coronavirus pandemic.

And while the primary election by and large is about nominating Democratic and Republican candidates for elected office, this one includes four ballot questions that all registered voters get to answer.

The first two are of paramount importance, given the year we’ve just been through.

Question one would allow the Legislature to terminate or extend a disaster emergency declaration.

It asks: “Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law and increase the power of the General Assembly to unilaterally terminate or extend a disaster emergency declaration — and the powers of Commonwealth agencies to address the disaster regardless of its severity pursuant to that declaration — through passing a concurrent resolution by simple majority, thereby removing the existing check and balance of presenting a resolution to the Governor for approval or disapproval?”

To that, we say, vote yes.

The second question would limit a disaster emergency declaration and involve the Legislature in its management.

It asks: “Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law so that: a disaster emergency declaration will expire automatically after 21 days, regardless of the severity of the emergency, unless the General Assembly takes action to extend the disaster emergency; the Governor may not declare a new disaster emergency to respond to the dangers facing the Commonwealth unless the General Assembly passes a concurrent resolution; the General Assembly enacts new laws for disaster management?”

Again, we say, vote yes.

Both measures are needed to prevent any governor in the future from seizing control, unchecked, during a prolonged emergency such as we’ve been navigating for well over a year.

The response from Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration has been sloppy and often did not make sense.

There are vast differences between the more populous urban areas and the rural locales. The decision-making at the state level has been destructive — and it stole our collective voice when the Legislature was left without power for a prolonged period of time.

It’s time to restore the balance in state government and give voice to all of us through our elected representatives.

It’s time to vote yes on these ballot questions — and to do so with vast numbers.


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