Rescind Governor Tom Wolf's disaster emergency powers.

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Matt Pestily
Matt Pestily signed this petition

On March 16th, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf claimed an expansive set of powers by declaring a disaster emergency.  Such a move grants him unchecked power over private resources, private businesses, and Pennsylvania citizens.  This is a gross abuse of power and must be rescinded immediately.

Such provisions of expanded powers were devised for quick response to true disasters and emergencies.  Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, invasions, uprisings, and the like.  There is no such disaster, or emergency, regarding the potential prevention of the spread of COVID-19.  Such an overreach in authority only increases the panic and hysteria of the general public, while further weakening local businesses, and increasing the financial burden of Pennsylvania.  There was, and continues to be, no need for Tom Wolf to  wield these elevated powers that pose a threat personal liberty. 

As the Governor himself mentioned, we are in "uncharted territory."  As such, Pennsylvania Legislature should work to create measures specific for handling a potential pandemic.  These may include temporary measures like school and business closures, definitions of essential businesses, and way to use or divert emergency funds to support hospitals.  Ideally, they would even provide temporary unemployment benefits for those workers effected by closure.  It must also clearly define the criteria by which the temporary measures could be extended or eliminated, and how the situation would be continually evaluated.  Ultimately, the level of additional powers granted - and their duration - must be delicately designed to address this situation well, but the situation only.  We must avoid giving the Governor's office a massive war-hammer of powers when what is needed is a scalpel.

The citizens of Pennsylvania who elected you remain concerned about the spread of the virus, understand the risk of overloading the healthcare infrastructure, and are more and more aware of concepts like "flattening the curve."  The power of America stems from its people, and we, as Pennsylvania citizens, are responsible for our safety and financial security.  Usurping this authority under the broad umbrella of a disaster emergency - when there is no such disaster - is a gross overreach and needs to be reversed.  This situation is not why the emergency provisions were created.

PA Legislature, please serve the best interests of your citizens and rescind this power immediately!