Pennsylvanians voted Tuesday to curb Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s emergency powers, becoming the first state to do so. Voters approved two amendments proposed by Republican legislators upset with mask mandates and Wolf’s shutdown of schools and businesses during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Last night, Pennsylvanians voted to reject Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf’s overreach of executive powers after his failed COVID response—a clear sign of accountability coming in 2022,” RNC chair Ronna McDaniel tweeted in response to the results. “Congratulations to Republicans for keeping our seats RED!”
Just two of Wolf’s COVID orders remain in place: a limitation on crowd sizes set to be lifted May 30, and a mask-wearing order for the unvaccinated that follows federal guidance and will stand until 70 percent of the state is vaccinated. Wolf’s office pointed out that the state of emergency declaration actually led to less regulation, not more, by cutting bureaucracy and red tape for medical professionals and National Guard deployments, and bringing in federal funds.