Op-ed: Watch Out for More Misinformation on Constitutional Amendments

As a result of a bill I authored with Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward and Senator John DiSanto, three potential amendments will appear on the ballot this spring to prohibit discrimination and improve the way the state responds to emergencies.

Although all three of these amendments are popular with voters, Governor Wolf and his allies are doing everything possible to derail the amendments pertaining to emergency declarations so he can continue to ignore the legislature and thumb his nose at the will of the people.

The sabotage effort began with the wording of the questions that will appear on the ballot. The language the Administration used has been widely criticized as being inaccurate, confusing and prejudicial (it absolutely is).

Efforts to torpedo these amendments continued in recent weeks with completely baseless claims from members of the Wolf Administration that passing these ballot questions would lead to lost food benefits to needy Pennsylvanians (they definitely would not).

Just last week, a Governor Wolf-supporting activist group sent out emails soliciting volunteers to participate in text banks to spread even more misinformation, including saying that the amendments would prevent a governor from acting quickly during an emergency (they most certainly do not).

We always anticipated that the governor and his supporters would advocate against these amendments. However, the depths to which they have sunk are staggering and disappointing.

The saddest part of the whole debate is that it should not be split along partisan lines. Democrats in New York are pursing similar measures to limit the power of their Democrat governor. Republicans in Ohio, Arkansas and other states have taken similar steps to limit emergency powers of their Republican governors.

The amendments are not about partisanship. They are focused entirely on ensuring we avoid the negative consequences of one person making all the decisions during an emergency, especially when they are misguided and lack collaboration (think nursing home response, lack of transparency  waiver programs, vaccine rollout, etc).

Still, no matter how many underhanded steps Governor Wolf and his allies take to retain their hold on power, I have confidence that voters will see through these deceptions and make an informed choice at the ballot box on May 18.

A YES vote means fewer disruptions in the lives of Pennsylvanians.

A YES vote means a more collaborative approach to protect lives and livelihoods during emergencies.

Most importantly, a YES vote means Pennsylvanians will never again be forced to endure the same kind of mismanagement and unintended consequences that we suffered under Governor Wolf’s unilateral rule.


CONTACT:   Terry Trego (717) 787-6535

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