|Posted:||May 19, 2021 04:49 PM|
|From:||Representative Russ Diamond|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Terminating the Disaster Emergency Proclamation|
|As you may recall, last year the General Assembly attempted to utilize the provisions of Section 7301 of Pennsylvania’s Emergency Management Services Code to terminate the Governor’s March 6, 2020 COVID-19 Disaster Emergency. Section 7301 defines the Governor’s authority to declare a disaster emergency and states that "The General Assembly by concurrent resolution may terminate a state of disaster emergency at any time. Thereupon, the Governor shall issue an executive order or proclamation ending the state of disaster emergency."
As a result of various court rulings to the contrary, effectively ruling Section 7301 unconstitutional, the General Assembly adopted a joint resolution in 2020 to change the Emergency Declaration provision to ensure emergency declarations only last 21 days and need legislative approval to continue thereafter.
That same joint resolution was adopted early in this Session through Senate Bill 2 and was finally made available to the voters of this Commonwealth at the 2021 Primary Election held on May 18, 2021.
As of the writing of this memo, election results show that the voters of this state have chosen to adopt the constitutional amendments limiting the authority of the Governor relative to disaster emergencies.
To that end, in the very near future I will be introducing a concurrent resolution to exercise our authority as a co-equal branch of government as authorized by the voters to address the Governor’s March 6, 2020 COVID-19 Disaster Proclamation, the subsequent amendments made thereto, as well as any orders issued pursuant to the Disaster Proclamation.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation in support of the will of the People, who have voted to empower us to act with such a resolution.