Op-Ed: Checks and balances needed even during crises

Originally published in LancasterOnline.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have learned that state governors are vested by law with expansive executive powers during declared disaster emergencies. As a result, many governors have become household names.

Some are known for heavy-handed crisis mismanagement or unnecessary erosion of civil liberties. Others, however, have taken a measured approach that preserves freedom while soberly addressing the pandemic’s dangers.

Here in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf has too often imposed drastic restrictions without public accountability and transparency. As it stands, the commonwealth ranks among the nation’s most restrictive states — restrictions enabled by the governor’s perpetual extension of his own emergency powers.

Since last spring, Pennsylvanians have suffered the unfortunate consequences of unchecked executive authority: Wolf’s approach has fueled widespread business closures, mass unemployment and distressing social trends.

Indeed, Wolf’s seemingly endless reliance on emergency executive powers goes against the spirit of our constitutional system of checks and balances. A crisis like COVID-19 undoubtedly requires a governor to…

Read more at LancasterOnline.