Gov. Wolf to Renew Disaster Declaration Regarding Opioid Abuse
Written by Legislative Consultant, Bruce Hironimus

April 6, 2018

Governor Wolf is expected to renew his 90-day opioid disaster declaration. On Jan. 10, 2018 the governor first declared a state of disaster emergency with regard to opioids, an uncommon use of Pennsylvania’s disaster emergency statute, but which allows Commonwealth agencies to use all available resources and personnel, as necessary, to cope with the magnitude and severity of the situation. In the past, states of emergency, normal bid and contract procedures, as well as other formalities prescribed by law, have been waived for the duration of the proclamation.

Subchapter A of Chapter 73 of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 35 (Health and Safety) relates to the governor and declarations of “disaster emergencies,” and it prescribes a state of disaster emergency may be continued by the governor for no more than 90 days, unless renewed by the governor. A concurrent resolution by the General Assembly may terminate the state of disaster emergency at any time. With the clock running out on the first 90-day period, the governor’s office says Wolf will announce he’s renewing the declaration to continue the “all-hands-on-deck approach” to opioid abuse, as well as discuss what has been done under the auspices of the first 90-day declaration.