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Lawmakers not happy with failure to override governor’s veto

Area lawmakers expressed disappointment over the failure by the state House to override Gov. Wolf’s veto of a bill that would have given school boards the ability to make decisions on sports and extracurricular

activities, including whether and how many spectators to allow.

Area representatives Garth Everett, R-Pennsdale, Jeff Wheeland, R-Loyalsock Twp., David Rowe, R-East Buffalo Twp., Stephanie Borowicz, R-McElhattan, Tina Pickett, R-Towanda and Clint Owlett, R-Liberty all voted in favor of the bill.

“I am very disappointed,” state Rep. Jeff Wheeland, R-Loyalsock Township, said. “I guess politics in the House of Representatives is alive and well.”

The legislation had passed the House earlier this month with 150 yes votes, but on Wednesday just 130 House members voted to over-ride the governor’s veto, just short of the majority required.

Wheeland said he felt sure that the votes for an over-ride would be in place.

“I really did from talking to Democrats,” he said.

Wheeland said it simply makes little sense to hold all school districts to the same standards.

Wolf has called for restrictions of 25 spectators for indoor events and 250 for outdoors activities such as football games. However, a court ruling last week declared such limits unconstitutional.

State Rep. Clint Owlett, R-Wellsboro, called the court ruling “the silver lining” in the issue.

“Ultimately, it’s a win,” he said.

Still, he too said it was disappointing, if not surprising, that some members of the House switched their votes on the legislation.

“How do you vote one way then flip flop? Apparently, some people weren’t listening to their constituents,” he said. “I think politics won today and not the people.”

State Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, said the decision on sporting events and extracurricular activities should ultimately be in the hands of the school districts.

He said he didn’t quite understand the governor’ s veto action, rather than just allowing the bill to become law.

He agreed that there should not be a one-size fits all policy for all school districts regarding the issue.

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