Governor Tom Wolf plans to veto Senate bill that would reopen some businesses

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Governor Tom Wolf's office said he plans to veto legislation sent to him Wednesday by the GOP-controlled Legislature that would force him to allow some businesses to reopen.

In a statement, Wolf's office said "irresponsibly going against the direction of the secretary of health and reopening businesses too early will only extend the length of the economic hardships created by the pandemic."

The Senate approved the legislation on a party-line vote after two hours of floor debate.

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Employees and customers are now required to wear masks inside essential Pennsylvania businesses, the governor said.

Wolf's 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.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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