Williams Supports Emergency Declaration Limits Legislation

Representative Craig WilliamsPA State Representative Craig William, R-Chester/Delaware

HARRISBURG, PA — Rep. Craig Williams (R-Chester/Delaware) yesterday voted in support of House Bill 55 in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

This legislation would simply give the voters at the ballot box the final decision about whether to amend the Constitution. If approved by the people of the Commonwealth, House Bill 55 changes the Emergency Declaration provision to ensure emergency declarations only last 21 days and need legislative approval to continue thereafter. The measure would ensure residents have a greater influence on emergency declarations by limiting declarations to 21 days.

The declaration could be extended with approval of the House and Senate. Currently, a governor’s emergency declaration can last up to 90 days and be renewed by the governor indefinitely.

“As I have said often, I am certain the governor believes wholeheartedly in the correctness of his decisions.  My objection has been about the ability of the General Assembly to have a meaningful voice in the discussion about our response to this emergency, a voice for our local businesses, a voice for all our constituents,” Williams said.  “House Bill 55 will give the citizens of Pennsylvania a say, by voter referendum, about whether they have a voice in a state of emergency through their elected representatives.  Too often during this pandemic, the General Assembly has expressed its concerns by way of legislation only to have that bill vetoed and then later enacted by executive order.  That is not how a democratic government operates, even in an emergency.”

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House Bill 55 now awaits consideration in the state Senate.

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