HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania voters became the first in the nation to impose restrictions on a governor’s authority under an emergency disaster declaration, approving constitutional amendments sped to a statewide referendum by Republican lawmakers angry over how Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf handled the pandemic response.
The vote on Tuesday’s primary ballot came as Republican lawmakers across the country have sought to roll back the emergency powers governors wielded during the COVID-19 pandemic.READ MORE: More Than 40 Restaurants Dishing Up Delicious Deals During Burlington County Restaurant Week
With 73% of precincts reporting, the two questions led with almost 54% of the vote. More than 2 million ballots were cast.
Wolf had opposed them, but has no say in what proposals lawmakers put on ballots to amend the state constitution.
The two questions ask voters to end a governor’s emergency disaster declaration after 21 days and to give lawmakers the sole authority to extend it or end it at any time with a simple majority vote.READ MORE: 'An Unbelievable Friend': Football Coach Remembers 12-Year-Old Tyler Norton, Killed In Pottstown House Fire
Currently, the constitution requires a two-thirds majority vote by lawmakers to end a governor’s disaster declaration. Under the law, a governor can issue an emergency declaration for up to 90 days and extend it without limit.
Wolf and his emergency disaster director have called the proposals reckless and a threat to a functioning society that could prevent a fast and wide-ranging response to increasingly complicated disasters.
Republicans have accused Wolf of fear-mongering.
Click here for the Pennsylvania Primary 2021 results.MORE NEWS: Open For Business: Bussinger Trains Uses Pandemic To Take On New Direction
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