Pennsylvania voters impose new limits on governor’s powers

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FILE – In this May 12, 2021 file photo, Gov. Tom Wolf speaks at an event in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Beyond the local races on ballots, Pennsylvania’s primary election will determine the future of a governor’s authority during disaster declarations. Voters statewide Tuesday, May 18 will decide four separate ballot questions, including two on whether to give state lawmakers much more power over disaster declarations. (AP Photo/Marc Levy)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania voted to limit Governor Tom Wolf’s emergency powers, approving constitutional amendments proposed by Republican lawmakers who are angry over Wolf’s handling of COVID-19.

The vote on Tuesday’s primary ballot came as Republican lawmakers have sought to roll back the emergency powers governors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Republicans in the state Legislature have attacked Wolf’s orders shuttering businesses, sending students home for online schooling and ordering masks worn outside the home.

The two questions led with almost 54% of the vote, with 75% of precincts reporting. More than 2 million ballots were cast, still less than a quarter of the state’s 8.7 million registered voters.

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