Off the Rails: Wolf Threatens Counties Over Shutdown Revolt

Member Group : Commonwealth Foundation

Commonwealth Foundation
Contact: Michael Torres, 850-619-2737, [email protected]

Pa. Shutdown Revolt Met with Threats from Governor
Wolf Warns of Economic Consequences for Flouting Shutdown

May 11, 2020, Harrisburg, Pa. — After this weekend’s news that at least eight counties in Pennsylvania would no longer participate in the governor’s reopening directives, Gov. Wolf has responded.

In a press conference, Wolf threatened politicians and business owners across the state with retribution. Using the tone of wartime, he said, “These folks are choosing to desert in the face of the enemy…They need to understand the consequences of their cowardly act.

Wolf then threatened to withhold CARES Act funding from counties that do not follow his guidelines. He also warned businesses owners with losing their health department certificate, liquor license, and/or certificate of occupancy if they do not comply.

Commonwealth Foundation President and CEO Charles Mitchell issued the following statement in response:

Gov. Wolf should apologize for the misguided insults he directed at elected representatives, employers, and workers across Pennsylvania.

A growing number of Pennsylvanians have lost confidence in the governor’s decision making. For more than two months, Gov. Wolf has kept the state in the dark about how he has made decisions that upend people’s lives.

Over 30 percent of Pennsylvania’s workforce is unemployed. Small businesses are falling into bankruptcy or closing permanently at an alarming rate. The unemployed are waiting weeks to even receive a response from the Dept. of Labor and Industry regarding their unemployment compensation. And all the while, Gov. Wolf has dismissed transparency as a nuisance.

Local politicians and representatives—who are seeing this economic carnage up close—are reacting to the understandable anxiety of their constituents. And after so much economic suffering caused by his own directives, it is galling for Wolf to threaten more businesses with forced closure.

The people of Pennsylvania are looking for their governor to provide them with the whole truth. Instead, he has chosen a position of obstinance.

Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment. Please contact Michael Torres at 850-619-2737 or to schedule an interview.

# # #

The Commonwealth Foundation transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish.