DiGirolamo: Its a Constitutional Disagreement on Legislative Resolution to End Emergency Order
Most of the questions at Thursday’s Bucks County Commissioners press conference dealt with the hard numbers and trends amid the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the questions going into the presser were the thoughts of Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo about the legislative battle taking place in Harrisburg between the Republican led House and Senate and Governor Tom Wolf about overturning Wolf’s administrations emergency order.
“Its certainly a disagreement between the Republican members …of the legislature and the Governor on whether he can veto the resolution or not,” he said.
The Wolf Administration on Wednesday said in a release the order not be ended”unilaterally” which raised eyebrows and voices throughout the Commonwealth because of accusations Wolf is over reaching his executive authority.
“Its my understanding the resolution has not been sent to the Governor by the Republican legislature and I believe its my understanding something will be filed in Commonwealth Court asking them (the court) to say the Governor does not have the ability to veto the legislation it has to become law, said DiGirolamo.
“Its probably going to be drawn out in the courts” he said pointing to a long drawn out legal battle that will have little impact on the everyday lives of Bucks County residents and those state wide in the present tense.
DiGirolamo said the court fight might be all for naught because in his mind Bucks is ready to be moved to the green phase, reiterating a point he made at Thursday’s presser.
“The Governor said there are an awful lot of good things that are in his emergency order that would go away such as protections for people who are having trouble paying their rent, utility bills. Plus there is the Health Secretaries order also ” he said.
“So I think this is a like a tempest in a tea pot” he said “by the time the constitutionality issue gets settled we’ll hopefully be in the green phase.”
Meanwhile, fellow Bucks County Republican and current state Senator Tommy Tomlinson weighed in on the issue Friday with a statement posted to his social media platforms
“Just a short time ago, Governor Wolf issued a press release outlining 8 more counties that are transitioning from the “Yellow” phase to the “Green” phase. Bucks County is not included, we stay stuck in the “Yellow” phase for another week despite the recommendation of our local medical experts. Bucks County Director of Health, Dr. David Damsker believes we are ready for “Green.””
“It is exactly why just this week, I voted for a House Resolution that ordered the Governor to rescind his Emergency Declaration and it’s restrictions. HR 836 passed both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support, but the Governor has refused to listen to the Legislature. The Senate has filed legal action against the Governor for his inaction.
Tomlinson hinted at “legal action” to be taken in the coming days.
As of Friday early evening no word on when that court filing may happen” according to a number of Harrisburg sources contacted throughout the day.
Meanwhile, DiGirolamo said “We’re ready to go green. Dr Damsker and his staff continues to do an excellent job, especially with the contact tracing method he’s implemented. I’m hoping we get some really good news soon.”
“This court thing isn’t going impact lives right now. Opening the county will!
**Editors Note: 8:30 p.m
As Lower Bucks Source went to publication with this story word that Governor Wolf asked the state Supreme Court to intervene in his dispute with legislative Republicans saying the resolution “has no legal force if it is not presented to him for his approval or disapproval.”
More on this developing story later —JB