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Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

State Senator Threatens Wolf with Subpoena if Business Waiver List Remains Secret

Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano (District 33) threatened Gov. Tom Wolf with a subpoena if he doesn’t release the controversial business waiver list immediately.

Calls for Wolf to release the list showing which businesses were approved or denied for waivers during the coronavirus pandemic response have been ignored to this date.

Mystery surrounds every decision. Some businesses in certain industries have been allowed to open and operate within the confines of the CDC social distancing recommendations. Others were denied.

Who’s been allowed to open or forced to stay closed remains a mystery. So, too, do the reasons why businesses were approved or denied.

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It’s believed there are more than 10,000 businesses whose owners went through the process of seeking a waiver but their request sits on a pile unanswered.

State Senator Threatens Governor Wolf with Subpoena if Business Waiver List Is Not Released to the Public

On April 8, Mastriano sent a letter to Gov. Wolf seeking this waiver list get released to the public.

In it, he writes, “I am formally exercising my constitutionally mandated oversight authority to request all of the waivers approved and disapproved by you, your staff and your proxies from March 20 to today.”

Mastriano wants more than the list, too. He continues in his letter that “any guidance memorandum or directives that you or your staff provided to direct the decisions” be included in the public release.

Republicans in Harrisburg believe Wolf has acted in secret using authoritarian power to make these and other decisions during the coronavirus pandemic response. They believe the Governor’s secretive actions threaten public trust in his office and the legislature.

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“It is the constitutional responsibility of the General Assembly to provide oversight over the actions of the Executive Branch, especially during this emergency health crisis,” Mastriano writes in conclusion. “In times such as these, you should be more transparent and I am gravely concerned by the lack for accountability and oversight that you have provided over the past month. Failure to comply with this constitutional request in a timely manner will result in a subpoena.”

Here’s a look at Mastriano’s letter:

subpoena threat over pennsylvania business waiver list

(Image: State Sen. Doug Mastriano)



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  1. Mark

    April 10, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    Why is “Smoker’s Heaven” in Pottsville open? Is this considered an essential business?

    • admin

      April 10, 2020 at 7:33 pm

      As long as people aren’t crammed into it, who cares? Any business that can prove it can safely operate per CDC guidelines should be allowed to operate.

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