State Rep. Neal Goodman (D-123) was 1 of 25 Democrat Representatives in Harrisburg who backed off overriding a veto on HB 2787, legislation that would have allowed local school districts to set their own attendance limits at sporting events and other functions.
Goodman’s vote along with his fellow dissenters means Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto stands and the state will continue to set attendance limits of some kind at outdoor events on school grounds.
Veto Override Vote on HB 2787 Fails in Pennsylvania House of Representatives
When it passed the Pennsylvania House on Sept. 2 and then the State Senate on Sept. 11, HB 2787 got through with what was believed to be a veto-proof majority. That was a good thing because earlier this week, Wolf eventually did veto the bill, sending it back to the House of Representatives where it started its journey to becoming law.
However, due to votes like Goodman’s, that veto override – which requires a 2/3 majority in both the House and Senate – failed. Goodman originally voted in favor of giving local school officials the liberty of setting their own attendance limits.
It’s not known why Goodman and some fellow Democrats changed their vote on the bill but perhaps it was pressure from Wolf to get in line with the party’s persistent fear mongering over the coronavirus pandemic.
The two other Schuylkill County representatives in the House, Reps. Jerry Knowles and Mike Tobash, stayed the course and voted to override the Governor’s veto.
Still, the 130 affirmative votes the bill got on the override action were not enough. And that means local school districts here are likely to keep enforcing an attendance limit at things like sporting events for the foreseeable future.
Wolf even admitted this week in a press conference that the 250 and 25 numbers being enforced were arbitrarily chosen, not the result of any science or data that the Governor claims to be using in his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Governor has appealed Stickman’s ruling and even sought a stay on it. Stickman denied Wolf’s request for a stay on his ruling, essentially opening up much of Pennsylvania and freeing it from many of the restrictions Wolf had imposed on gatherings.
Wolf’s Reaction to Veto Override Vote is Puzzling, At Best
Despite the fact that so many Democrat members of the State House and Senate voted to approve HB 2787, Tom Wolf did what he’s done since the start of the pandemic response and blamed Republicans for wasting everyone’s time.
The Governor took to Twitter to lecture only the GOP members who originally voted for HB 2787.
“Instead of wasting time on a veto override attempt on a superfluous bill, the Republican legislature needs to start taking this pandemic seriously by focusing on the health and safety of our children, staff, and teachers and preventing the spread of this deadly virus,” Wolf wrote on Wednesday.
He also wrote a message praising the spineless Democrats like Goodman who originally voted for the bill but voted against a veto override.
“Thankful to the House Democrats for continuing to stand with me and showing a commitment to working collaboratively to protect the people of Pennsylvania during this ongoing public health crisis,” he posted to Twitter.
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