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Governor Tom Wolf. Photo courtesy: Creative Commons governortomwolf.
Governor Tom Wolf. Photo courtesy: Creative Commons governortomwolf.

Who pulls the strings? PA Senate moves to limit Wolf’s power

A bill approved by a senate committee is attempting to limit governor’s power to enact any law that exceeds $1 million without Senate approval. 

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The PA Senate, Pennsylvania’s legislative entity, also known as the controllers of the purse, is moving to limit Governor Wolf’s power with Senate Bill 561.

The bill’s sponsor Republican Senator John DiSanto from Dauphin County, reiterated that it was an attempt to strengthen the effect of checks and balances on the legislative relationship between the Governor, stating it was an attempt to “strengthen political accountability for regulatory policy and protect our economy from undue burdens on business and job creation.”

Currently, the senate can file a disapproval resolution if they disagree with a regulation Wolf introduces but Wolf then has the power to accept or veto said actions. Two-thirds of a vote from legislators is then required to override Wolf’s decision.

The bill would be an amendment to the act of June 25, 1982 (P.L.633, No.181), known as the Regulatory Review Act, and would change the shift the dynamic so that any measure that has $1 million in impact will immediate be submitted for review and cost estimates by the Independent Fiscal Office and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.
Last year, the Independent Fiscal Office reviewed 75 measures and also moved for performance reviews of budget requests for the 2014-2015 budget.

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