Wolf, GOP legislators continue grappling over business reopenings

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio)  The tug of war between Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled legislature continues over how fast to reopen businesses in Pennsylvania. The state Senate Wednesday passed several bills dealing with that issue, bills which are expected to get consideration in the House Thursday.

One bill passed by the Senate would require the Wolf administration to issue waivers for lawn and garden centers, barber shops and salons, auto dealers and certain other businesses. 

During debate, Democrats, including Larry Farnese of Philadelphia, argued against it.

“If you believe that risking more lives to save the economy is worth the cost, consider, Mr. President, that you are likely to lose both,” Farnese said. 

But a few Senate Democrats broke ranks and voted for the bill, including Andy Dinniman of Chester County, who said he was doing what people in his district want. 

“I asked them whether they felt lawn and garden centers should reopen. Eighty-nine percent of my constituents said ‘yes,’ ” he said. 

The Senate passed a separate bill that would allow real estate sales to resume, and, for a second time, passed legislation giving counties power to reopen businesses.