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Some Officials Urge Pennsylvanians To 'Vote No' On Disaster Declaration Constitutional Amendments On The Ballot

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH/HARRISBURG (KDKA) -- Some state and local leaders are asking voters to "vote no" on two proposed constitutional amendments that will appear on the ballot for the upcoming May primary.

Those amendments would limit the length of disaster emergencies in Pennsylvania.

Voters will decide whether emergency declarations should expire after three weeks rather than three months under existing law.

Lawmakers could also overturn the declaration with majority votes in each chamber.

The proposed amendments stem from disagreements over the length of emergency declarations declared by Democrat Governor Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled legislature.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who is also a Democrat, said it should not be up to the legislature to make decisions about emergencies.

"We need to vote no on these referendums to make sure that our families and our communities are protected by the people who have been entrusted," Fitzgerald said. "We have got to vote no to make sure the health professionals are making determinations in the best interest of all of us."

The Wolf administration has argued ending declarations early could affect federal funding and other resources.

Opponents said the orders hurt businesses, especially during the shut down last year.

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