Pennsylvania voters impose new limits on the Governor’s Emergency Powers

Statement from Senator Mastriano:

“Over the past year, the people of Pennsylvania have been through one of the most challenging periods of our state’s history. What started out as “two weeks to flatten the curve” turned into months of shuttered small businesses, closed schools, and social isolation. We were told that the Governor’s actions “saved lives.” Pennsylvania has consistently been in the top 10 for COVID deaths per capita, ahead of other states with much less restrictive shutdowns.

Governor Wolf has used his emergency powers to self- renew every 90 days without accountability to the General Assembly. As a result, the legislators closest to the people (State Senators and Representatives) have had little to no input on the Governor’s edicts.

In May 2020, I was proud to attend and speak at the first rallies to re-open our state. I met with countless citizens who shared personal stories about how the shutdown measures were impacting their life, their families, and their community. These same folks were inspired to organize what became a grassroots movement around the state to re-open our economy and our schools.

I believe that Tuesday’s result is the culmination of those grassroots efforts.

Our system of government works better when the legislative and executive branches work together. We took our case to the people of Pennsylvania, and the people voted ‘yes’ to restore liberty and ensure the fundamental principles of our democracy remain in place even during times of an emergency. 

I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and with Governor Wolf to fully re-open our state, return all schools to in-person learning, and end the mask mandate for all citizens.”


CONTACT: Josh Herman (

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