Pennsylvania governor to veto coronavirus bill that would reopen economy

Some Pennsylvanians plan to protest against lockdown restrictions being extended beyond May 1

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Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is expected to veto a bill to reopen many of the state's businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“As the administration has stated many times, 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,” Wolf spokesperson Lyndsay Kensinger told The Philadelphia Inquirer in an email.

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The bill passed the state's Senate along party lines on Wednesday, but Republican state legislators do not have enough votes to override Wolf's veto.

The state has the sixth-highest number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. at more than 26,000.

Wolf's office did not provide FOX Business with a comment at the time of publication.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks during a news conference at the Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Thursday, June 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Pennsylvania Medical Society praised Wolf's decision to extend a statewide stay-at-home order earlier this month.

"The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) strongly supports guidelines that call for increased social distancing and isolation as the only means to effectively mitigate the impact of COVID-19," PAMED President Dr. Lawrence John said in a statement. "Physicians, nurses and health care workers are saving lives by staying at work. We ask you to save lives by staying at home.”

Some Pennsylvanians plan to protest on Monday in front of the State Capitol building in Harrisburg against lockdown restrictions being extended beyond May 1.

Others are taking legal action.

"If you’re going to have closures like this, the government has to be transparent about the way it’s doing this," Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of Pennsylvania handbell manufacturer Schulmerich Bells, told FOX Business.

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Goldstein is suing Wolf on behalf of the company and workers after he had to shutter his business and lay off nine people, he said. He argues that the governor cannnot "seize" jobs without just compensation under the Fifth Amendment.

The government "has to have the authority to manage health crisis," Goldstein said. "What the government can’t do is expect certain private parties to bear the cost for public benefit."

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