HARRISBURG (KDKA/AP) — The Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill on Wednesday to reopen businesses if they follow social distancing guidelines set by the CDC.
The House approved the bill on Tuesday.
The bill would direct Gov. Tom Wolf to develop a system based on guidance for businesses from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and on an advisory memo on the topic sent out late last month by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Wolf closed businesses deemed not essential to sustaining life about a month ago and subsequently set up a review system for those who wanted permission to reopen.
Wolf hasn’t explicitly said that he would veto it, although his health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, wrote to senators Wednesday to warn of the bill’s “devastating” impact on the administration’s ability to fight the virus.
Republicans accused Wolf of overseeing a haphazard and secretive process for determining which businesses must close, and which may remain open. Democrats, in turn, accused Republicans of ignoring health experts and risking lives. Republicans countered they were merely trying to force Wolf to adopt guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
House Speaker Mike Turazi was hopeful Wolf would sign the bill, while Senate Democrat Leader Jay Costa urged a veto.