Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's administration stopped processing right-to-know requests earlier this year. That decision has been especially concerning for lawmakers as the governor continues to make coronavirus-related decisions that have made little sense and seemed to do more harm than good. For instance, over the weekend, the governor announced that starting on Thursday, bars and restaurants would be limited to 25 percent capacity in response to an "unsettling" rise in COVID-19 cases. He is also limiting on-premises alcohol consumption to meals only and limiting indoor gatherings to just 25 people.
TODAY— Dozens of restaurant owners from various counties in Western PA are together determined to fight @GovernorTomWolf latest order. They say their business will not survive operating within the new guidelines. Details @ noon on @KDKA pic.twitter.com/hPiUCg5bql— Lindsay Ward (@LindsayWardTV) July 20, 2020
Now, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle support legislation that would improve transparency at the Capitol.
York County Republican Seth Grove, who sponsored the legislation, said it was needed to restore transparency to state government. The administration’s implementation of COVID-19 mitigation efforts – especially its short-lived and opaque business waiver program – have drawn sharp criticism from legislative Republicans concerned about the administration’s overreaches.
“People always say they support transparency and accountability, but few support transparency and accountability on themselves,” Grove said. “Gov. Tom Wolf has the opportunity, by signing House Bill 2463 into law, to show he fully commits the executive branch to a higher standard of openness.” (The Center Square)
Gov. Wolf said he plans to veto the bill, offering only a vague explanation that the measure "has some flaws."
“I am for transparency and I will set my record of transparency up against members of the General Assembly any day of the week,” he said. “I think that particular bill has some flaws.”
Grove urged the governor to listen to them.
“Citizens have a constitutional right to question their elected officials and government, even in times of crisis,” Grove said. “This is a core principle of our nation and our Commonwealth. It must be defended and held in high regard.”
Gov. Wolf isn't the only state leader who has enacted unpopular or even deadly mandates during the pandemic. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to force nursing home facilities to accept COVID-positive patients for months likely led to thousands of untimely deaths.