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Pennsylvania Vote Will Have Big Impact on Lockdowns, Future Emergencies

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A vote Tuesday on two statewide initiatives in Pennsylvania could have a major impact on both the future of lockdowns and emergency management in the Keystone State.

By 53-47%, Pennsylvanians voted for Amendment 1 to severely gut the governor’s power to declare states of emergency — empowering the legislature to extend or terminate an emergency.

Amendment 2, enacted by a similar margin, gave the legislature power to decide whether to continue or end an emergency after 21 days.

“It is a clear repudiation of Gov. [Tom] Wolf’s draconian shutdown approach to handling the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lowman Henry, president of the Harrisburg-based Lincoln Institute, told Newsmax.

Henry noted, the vote for the two amendments was “an unprecedented rebuke of a governor for the General Assembly when the voters amend the state Constitution to curb the abuse of executive power.”

But others warned the measure will force the legislature to take a greater role in future emergencies — snowstorms, floods, and similar disasters.

“There will be huge pressure on the governor and the legislature during crises to come to agreement on how to deal with it,” said Franklin & Marshall College Prof. G. Terry Madonna, the premier pollster in Pennsylvania. “With the political divisions, compromise won’t be easy.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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