May 25, 2020

Time to end Gov. Tom Wolf’s charade.

Pennsylvania residents are growing tired of Gov. Tom Wolf’s charade of dragging the Covid Virus “stay-at-home” orders on and on with no end in sight. Gov. Wolf continues to deny the efforts of our State House of Representatives to open for business. The residents of our Commonwealth have become an audience in a poor performance of a Harrisburg drama that is being played out at the Capitol, and directed by Gov. Wolf.

Our elected representatives are working to present legislation to Gov. Wolf to open small businesses safely and have appeared for this dress rehearsal for the last two months.
Most recently, the state house voted to pass legislation, HR 2388, which would have opened hair salons, dog groomers, local garden centers, and auto dealerships using established CDC guidelines to protect both employees and customers. Passing this legislation would help small businesses throughout the state begin to open in a measured way, similar to what is happening in neighboring states, including Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. In a dramatic fashion, villain Gov. Wolf vetoed this bill one business day after it landed on his desk.

The Democrat Caucus of state representatives could vote to overturn Gov. Wolf’s veto power, by moving, along with the Republican Caucus, to open small businesses across the state. Without bipartisan support, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives does not have the super-majority needed to overturn a single one of Gov. Wolf’s vetoes. The waiting audience of small business owners are constituents, who continue to suffer as their businesses remain closed. Our State House of Representatives seemingly enjoys the dress rehearsal of presenting legislation, but lack the commitment to support the real performance, which would be voting to overturn Governor Wolf’s veto.

It must be exhausting to keep sending common-sense bipartisan legislation to Gov. Wolf, expecting more than another veto. Quite the continued charade, as the State House of Representatives has not yet managed to orchestrate an effort to overturn a single piece of legislation that nearly every representative votes the first time to support. The courageous vote will be the second vote, the vote to override Gov. Wolf’s veto power and pass legislation to reopen our local businesses.

In November, all state representatives run for re-election and they will likely be planning to campaign on all of their accomplishments. Activity does not matter to small business owners, results matter. This Harrisburg drama is “much ado about nothing” as almost nothing has changed. We are now past 60 days of a lockout for small businesses. The audience of small business owners has grown tired of the dialogue.

It is not too late for a second act. Or a second vote. Perhaps there will be bipartisanship in this Harrisburg drama before the curtain closes on our local businesses and our economic recovery.

Renee Chesler is a former Township Supervisor in Limerick Township.

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