Straight to the top. Last week we reported that the General Assembly passed House Resolution 238 in an attempt to force the governor to end the emergency orders as it pertains to the COVID-19 disaster declaration. We also reported that the issue was marred in controversy and was already heading the courts to resolve.
Well, this week the PA Supreme Court exercised it’s “King’s Bench” powers to force the matter to their jurisdiction, bypassing the Commonwealth Court which is where the case originally rested. The Supreme Court said they will address the merits of the case “in due course” but it is unknown how long that will take. Meanwhile, more counties were added the green phase for reopening this week bringing the overall total to 46 of 67 counties in “green” status.
The fighting continues. Even though the governor’s ability to continue the disaster orders rests with the courts, that didn’t stop a group of lawmakers in the House from issuing articles of impeachment against Governor Wolf this week. Rep. Daryl Metcalf (R-Butler) introduced formal articles of impeachment this week citing, “the governor’s COVID-19 restrictions violated residents’ constitutional rights and that other elements of the response, including lapses in the unemployment compensation system and delays in containing the virus’ spread in the state’s nursing homes, were mishandled.” The impeachment resolution was joined by 24 other republican members of the House.
Reshuffling of the deck update. We also reported that Speaker Mike Turzai was stepping down and a new Speaker of the House would need to be chosen. Mike Turzai formally resigned on June 15 and vacated the post earlier this week. There are no updates yet on who the successor will be, but all eyes are on Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) as the odds-on favorite. We expect the formal elections to occur early next week when the House reconvenes on Monday, June 22. APC has had a great working relationship with Rep. Cutler while serving as the current House Majority Leader. We will report the new Republican House leaders to you when it is announced.