Several lawmakers recently introduced legislation to extend Gov. Tom Wolf’s state of emergency declaration following the devastation of recent storms.
House Resolution 139 is a concurrent resolution to extend the governor’s disaster emergency declaration in response to the aftereffects of Hurricane Ida. A concurrent resolution must be passed by both the House and Senate. The bill was recently referred to the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.
Introducing the bill is Reps. Shelby Labs (R-Bucks) and Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery), along with Reps. Wendi Thomas (R-Richboro), Todd Polinchock (R-Chalfont), Eric R. Nelson (R-Greensburg) and Zach Mako (R-Northampton).
“The damage to the homes, schools and businesses was so extensive it will take weeks, if not months, until everyone is whole,” said Labs. “With the governor’s emergency order set to expire, it is the legislature’s responsibility to extend it to fully allow residents and local businesses the time to assess and apply for all the financial help they are entitled to.”
“It’s clear we must extend the declaration to ensure residents and business owners can access the assistance they need to recover,” said Stephens. “Rep. Labs’ bill to extend the emergency declaration, which I am co-sponsoring, is exactly what the voters wanted when they changed the Pennsylvania Constitution.”
The vote to extend the emergency declaration is necessitated by the constitutional amendment adopted by voters earlier this year limiting a governor’s disaster declarations to a maximum of 21 days. If the governor or lawmakers wish to extend the declaration, it must be approved by a majority in the House and Senate.