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  • Gov. Wolf changes rule on alcohol sales in restaurants and bars, moving last call to 11 p.m.

    09/17/2020 9:21:37 PM PDT · by lightman · 27 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 17 September A.D. 2020 | Ron Southwick
    Gov. Tom Wolf is changing the time for last call in bars and restaurants, but it won’t be as early as he had previously indicated. The governor signed an order Thursday putting a halt to sales of alcoholic drinks in bars and restaurants at 11 p.m., beginning Monday, Sept. 21. Customers will have until midnight to finish their drinks. Wolf had previously said the cut-off would be at 10 p.m. to reduce congregating at bars and restaurants, a measure designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. As he previously said he would, Wolf is allowing restaurants and bars can...
  • Group of Pa. doctors fault Republicans for fighting Gov. Wolf’s pandemic restrictions

    09/17/2020 12:46:29 PM PDT · by lightman · 33 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 17 September A.D. 2020 | David Wenner
    Pennsylvania members of the Committee to Protect Medicare said Thursday that politically-motivated attacks on Gov. Tom Wolf’s actions to control COVID-19 are a danger to their patients and all state residents. They said they are speaking out because of this week’s opinion by a federal judge which said restrictions including the state-wide state-at-home order were unconstitutional. The lawsuit was driven by Republicans who echo views similar to President Donald Trump, who pressed Wolf and other governor’s to “reopen” their states even as COVID-19 cases were rising and public health officials feared hospitals would be overwhelmed. “As physicians, we’re concerned that...
  • Gov. Wolf administration asks restaurants to self-certify: Here’s what that means, and how to do it

    09/16/2020 4:01:56 PM PDT · by lightman · 40 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 16 September A.D. 2020 | Sean Adams
    Restaurants in Pennsylvania are being asked to self-certify with the state that they are following the COVID-19 guidelines. And those that do will be permitted to increase their capacity. The self-certification for restaurants requires them to submit online through the DCED’s website that they meet all of the state’s coronavirus prevention guidelines. The submission form will be available online starting on September 21. “Self-certifying your establishment shows your employees and customers that you care about their health and well-being, and demonstrates your commitment to helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the commonwealth,” said Secretary Dennis Davin of the Department...
  • 'Let’s not detract from the high school experience’; Pa. House members urge Gov. Tom Wolf to sign high school sports bill

    09/16/2020 11:47:21 AM PDT · by lightman · 9 replies
    Penn ^ | 16 September A.D. 2020 | Jan Murphy
    Monday is the deadline by which Gov. Tom Wolf must make a decision about whether to deny or grant local officials the exclusive authority to make decisions about holding school sports and activities and who can attend them. Although the governor has publicly said he would veto the measure identified as House Bill 2787, a bipartisan band of House members gathered in the Ryan Office Building next to the state Capitol on Wednesday for a news conference to urge him to change his mind. “It is truly time to give people their voice back and ensure children have their best...
  • Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus mandates ruled unconstitutional: What changes? What happens next?

    09/15/2020 11:53:44 AM PDT · by lightman · 18 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 15 September A.D. 2020 | Chris Mautner
    On Monday a federal judge in western Pennsylvania ruled that parts of Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home and business closure orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic were unconstitutional. The ruling was in a lawsuit filed in March by four western Pennsylvania counties and several Republican state lawmakers that claimed the governor’s orders violated the First Amendment as well as the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. What does it mean for the average Pennsylvanian? Here’s what we know so far. Why did the judge rule the shutdown orders unconstitutional? U.S. District Judge William S. Stickman IV...
  • PENNSYLVANIA: Federal judge rules Gov. Wolf’s shutdown orders were unconstitutional

    09/14/2020 10:38:55 AM PDT · by woodchukwood · 71 replies
    TribLive ^ | 9-14-2020 | Paula Reed Ward
    Federal judge rules Gov. Wolf’s shutdown orders were unconstitutional A federal judge in Pittsburgh on Monday found that orders issued by Gov. Tom Wolf restricting the size of gatherings and closing non-essential businesses to protect against the spread of covid-19 were unconstitutional.
  • Federal judge rules Pennsylvania's coronavirus orders are unconstitutional

    09/14/2020 11:55:02 AM PDT · by yesthatjallen · 44 replies
    The Hill ^ | 09 14 2020 | Justine Coleman
    A federal judge ruled on Monday that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) coronavirus orders, which shut down the state, closed businesses and limited gatherings, were unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV, a Trump appointee, said in his opinion that Wolf’s and Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine’s COVID-19 orders violated and continue to violate the First Amendment right to freedom of assembly and the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus “were undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency,” Stickman wrote. “But even in...
  • Pa. Democratic lawmakers face difficult vote on high school sports bill that Gov. Wolf plans to veto

    09/11/2020 4:54:38 PM PDT · by lightman · 14 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 11 September A.D. 2020 | Jan Murphy
    A difficult vote may lie ahead for 56 Democratic slate lawmakers who joined their Republican colleagues in supporting a bill that would give local schools the authority to make decisions about holding sports and other activities, including how many spectators can attend. That bill was presented to Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday. He has said he will veto it and can take up to 10 days to do that. Wolf has recommended schools hold off on sports this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic and his administration wants strict limits on the number of spectators. If Wolf follows through with...
  • Wolf ‘can’t conceive’ that Pa. legislature will override his planned veto of high school sports attendance bill

    09/10/2020 12:20:11 PM PDT · by lightman · 19 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 10 September A.D. 2020 | Greg Pickel
    Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf plans to veto a bill that would allow school districts to decide how many fans can attend indoor and outdoor high school sports games and events this fall, and he said Thursday he “can’t conceive” that the legislature would override his decision. Both chambers have passed House Bill 2787. It would allow districts to circumvent the state’s current order that limits gatherings to 250 people outdoors and 25 indoors because of the coronavirus pandemic. Under the bill, schools could set their own limits on the number of fans that can be in the stands as long...
  • Pa. House will attempt to override Gov. Tom Wolf’s planned veto of ‘Let them Play’ bill dealing with school sports and fan attendance

    09/10/2020 9:00:00 AM PDT · by lightman · 21 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 10 September A.D. 2020 | Jan Murphy
    At its first opportunity, Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff said the chamber will attempt to override Gov. Tom Wolf's planned veto of a bill that would allow schools the choice to hold fall sports and decide how many spectators can attend them. Aug. 20, 2020 Joe Hermitt | jhermitt@pennlive.com By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com The Pennsylvania House Republican leader vows a veto override vote will happen in the near future if Gov. Tom Wolf carries through with his planned veto of a bill that would give local school officials the exclusive authority to decide whether to allow sports and...
  • Audit of Gov. Wolf’s COVID-19 business shutdown waivers nears completion with consistency and fairness as its focus

    09/09/2020 9:25:30 AM PDT · by lightman · 13 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 9 September A.D. 2020 | Jan Murphy
    An audit that examines the consistency and fairness of Gov. Tom Wolf’s controversial coronavirus waiver process that allowed some businesses to reopen after appealing the governor’s March 19 business closure order while others were told to remain closed will be released next month. State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday that his auditors have collected a significant amount of data about the more than 40,000 businesses that requested waivers from the state Department of Community and Economic Development to offer an analysis about its fairness. He said his auditors are examining the consistency...
  • Restaurant and bar owners on Gov. Wolf’s revised orders: ‘He didn’t give us anything'

    09/08/2020 3:05:27 PM PDT · by lightman · 24 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 8 September A.D. 2020 | Sue Gleiter
    Pennsylvania restaurant and bar owners have been waiting since mid-July for Gov. Tom Wolf to relax dine-in capacity limits. Today, the governor gave his blessing, announcing that starting Sept. 21 establishments can bump up indoor seating from 25% to 50%. However, any reason to celebrate was quickly squashed when Wolf threw the industry a curveball. As part of the updated orders, establishments with liquor licenses will have to cut off booze orders at 10 p.m., while those restaurants and bars wishing to move up to 50% will need to fill out a self-certification document to be eligible. Central Pennsylvania restaurant...
  • Pa. restaurants can soon open to 50% capacity, but must end booze sales early: Wolf

    09/08/2020 10:14:27 AM PDT · by lightman · 24 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 8 September A.D. 2020 | Sue Gleiter
    Restaurants and bars in Pennsylvania are getting some relief. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced today that starting Sept. 21 establishments can increase indoor seating capacity from 25% to 50%. But Wolf also threw in an additional caveat - restaurants with alcohol sales will have to cut off booze sales at 10 p.m. “While our aggressive and appropriate mitigation efforts have kept case counts low, we must continue to take important steps to protect public health and safety as we head into the fall. At the same time, we must also support the retail food services industry that has struggled throughout...
  • Gov. Wolf is acting like a ‘king’ and his mask mandate is a political statement, couples claim in federal lawsuit

    09/04/2020 9:03:04 AM PDT · by lightman · 16 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 4 September A.D. 2020 | Matt Miller
    Gov. Tom Wolf is acting like a “king” and is trampling their rights under the state constitution, two Pennsylvania couples are claiming in a newly filed federal lawsuit, the latest legal challenge to the governor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. And they claim the governor’s face mask wearing mandate has become a form of political expression that is being illegally imposed on Pennsylvanians. Chad Parker, Rebecca Kenwick-Parker and Mark and Donna Redman are being supported in their U.S. Middle District Court suit by the Michigan-based American Freedom Law Center. They are asking Chief Judge John E. Jones III to rule...
  • ‘We need a change’; Pa. House plans to attempt to override governor’s veto of bill to bring an end to his COVID-19 disaster declaration

    09/02/2020 1:16:11 PM PDT · by lightman · 11 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 2 September A.D. 2020 | Jan Murphy
    Saying Gov. Tom Wolf’s shutdown orders over the past 180 days have been disastrous for Pennsylvania businesses and families, House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff said Wednesday lawmakers will attempt to end the COVID-19 disaster declaration that the governor renewed this week for another 90 days. “We need a change,” said Benninghoff, R-Centre County. “We are asking all our members to join us on this anniversary of the 180 days of this shutdown to override the governor’s order and open Pennsylvania in an orderly fashion, keeping Pennsylvania safe and Pennsylvanians employed and most of all allowing them to earn a paycheck...
  • Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf renews the COVID-19 disaster declaration for another 90 days

    09/01/2020 9:12:21 AM PDT · by lightman · 26 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 1 September A.D. 2020 | Jan Murphy
    For the second time since the first two presumptive positive cases of the coronavirus appeared in Pennsylvania on March 6, Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday renewed the state’s disaster declaration for the pandemic for another 90 days. “As we approach the six-month mark of this crisis, I continue to be amazed at the resiliency and strength shown by Pennsylvanians during this pandemic,” Wolf said in a statement. “We are going to continue to combat the health and economic effects of COVID-19, and the renewal of my disaster declaration will provide us with resources and support needed for this effort.” This...
  • Successful return to school could lead to easing of bar and restaurant restrictions: Wolf

    08/31/2020 10:01:30 AM PDT · by lightman · 11 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 31 August A.D. 2020 | Greg Pickel
    Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday presented a fall legislative agenda that included a push for legalizing marijuana for recreational use by adults. Harrisburg, PA – August 25, 2020Commonwealth Media Services By Greg Pickel | gpickel@pennlive.com A successful return to both K-12 schools and colleges could lead to an easing of the targeted bar and restaurant restrictions in Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf said as much on Monday, more than a month after he and Health Department Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine signed orders that limit indoor and outdoor occupancy, forbid bar service, and require prepared food to be purchased if a customer wants...
  • Gov. Tom Wolf proposes changes for upcoming election

    08/27/2020 12:25:05 PM PDT · by lightman · 33 replies
    WGAL ^ | 27 August A.D. 2020 | Staff
    HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is proposing changes to the state's election laws that would extend deadlines for mail-in ballots and speed up the appointment of poll workers. Here's a breakdown of the governor's proposals: To speed up vote counting, counties would be allowed to start scanning and verifying ballot envelopes, match signatures to voter rolls and scan ballots 21 days before the election (current law only permits this process to begin at 7 a.m. on Election Day). Counties would NOT tabulate or report vote totals until polls close on Election Day. Allow counties to count eligible ballots...
  • Toomey, Perry take aim at Gov. Wolf’s handling of pandemic; blame response for weak Pa. economy

    08/26/2020 2:52:13 PM PDT · by lightman · 15 replies
    Pennlive ^ | Ivey DeJesus
    Sen. Pat Toomey and Rep. Scott Perry on Wednesday took aim at the Wolf administration’s handling of the coronavirus, blaming it for what they said was a weak state economic recovery. At a press conference in York attended by about two dozen business leaders and elected officials, the two Republican lawmakers criticized some of the restrictions and measures rolled out by Gov. Tom Wolf intended to mitigate the spread of the highly contagious virus. Toomey first outlined the federal response to the pandemic, including the release of trillions of dollars to states under the CARES Act, which he said significantly...
  • Thwarted at every turn, Pa. GOP lawmakers hatch new plan to limit Wolf’s emergency powers

    08/26/2020 8:59:09 AM PDT · by lightman · 11 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 26 August A.D. 2020 | Spotlight PA
    HARRISBURG — Thwarted by court rulings and vetoes, Republicans in the legislature unhappy with Gov. Tom Wolf’s response to the coronavirus pandemic are plotting two new efforts to curtail his emergency powers. In June, the legislature voted to force Wolf to end the state’s COVID-19 disaster declaration, which greatly expanded the Democratic governor’s powers. Wolf countered that such a move required his approval. The state Supreme Court sided with Wolf, who then vetoed the measure. But the saga isn’t over yet. Members of the GOP who control the state House now plan to advance a measure to override Wolf’s veto,...