Allentown state senator says clarification needed on Gov. Wolf’s business closing order

Written by on March 20, 2020

Allentown state senator says clarification needed on Gov. Wolf’s business closing order

By Jen Rehill and Jim Deegan

March 20, 2020

Gov. Tom Wolf’s order to shut down all but “life-sustaining” businesses in Pennsylvania is under fire from manufacturers and some Republican lawmakers. As WLVR’S Jen Rehill reports, they’ve criticized the roll out and timing of the order which went into effect last night.

Pennsylvania Senator Pat Browne, a Republican from Allentown, chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. Brown told Lehigh Valley Public Media that he understands why the order is warranted, but emphasized that it needs clarification. 

“Sometimes that’s difficult because businesses fit within multiple categories of business segments,” Browne said. “And some are essential and life-sustaining because they supply other life-sustaining businesses.”

Browne added that shutting down the wrong business could impact the supply chain for needed services. 

Speaking at a virtual news conference from his home in York County Friday afternoon, Gov. Wolf addressed those concerns. He said he understands the challenges, but added that Pennsylvania has no choice but to take swift and decisive action in light of the surge of coronavirus cases the state’s anticipating. 

“These are uncharted waters,” Wolf said. “And in this situation we’re not going to do everything perfectly, but we’re going to do the best we can to keep our hospital system from crashing, as we’ve seen in other countries.”

Wolf said the business closure list was based on recommendations from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The governor also noted that business owners who believe they need to stay open can apply for waivers.

Find the complete list of life-critical businesses here.


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