PA’s Gov. Wolf to withhold funding from businesses reopening despite state orders

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ERIE, Penn. (WJET/WFXP)—Gov. Tom Wolf addressed concerns Monday over businesses in “Red Phase” counties reopening in defiances of state orders. Red is the most restrictive of Pennsylvania’s three phases for reopening, followed by yellow and green—modeled after a traffic signal.

The governor explained that state funding will be withheld from businesses in Red Phase counties ignoring safety guidelines and disobeying state orders.

Wolf, a Democrat, says that money could instead go to people and businesses that are doing their part and operating correctly.

‘The irresponsible thing to do, as I said earlier, is to just willy nilly go off and pretend that we can wave a magic wand and go back into business and suspend the reality of this virus that’s surrounding us.”

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf

The governor outlined the following consequences to counties that do not abide by the law to remain closed:

  • Counties will not be eligible for federal stimulus discretionary funds the state receives and intends to provide to counties with populations of fewer than 500,000.
  • Businesses in counties that do not abide by the law will no longer be eligible for business liability insurance and the protections it provides. The Pennsylvania Department of Insurance released details.
  • Restaurants that reopen for dine-in service in counties that have not been authorized to reopen will be at risk of losing their liquor license.
  • County residents receiving unemployment compensation will be able to continue to receive benefits even if their employer reopens. Employees may choose not to return out of concern for personal safety and the safety of co-workers.

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