Gov. Wolf wants lawmakers to extend opioid emergency declaration

Pennsylvania
The three biggest U.S. drug distribution companies and the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson are on the verge of a $26 billion settlement covering thousands of lawsuits over the toll of opioids across the U.S., two people with knowledge of the plans told The Associated Press.

FILE – This Aug. 29, 2018, file photo shows an arrangement of Oxycodone pills in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The governor of Pennsylvania is asking state lawmakers to return to Harrisburg within a month to extend a statewide disaster emergency intended to help stem the opioid addiction crisis.

In a letter to the General Assembly, Tom Wolf said he plans an Aug. 5 renewal of the disaster emergency declaration first issued in January 2018 and wants lawmakers to consider extending it by by Aug. 26.

The governor can no longer unilaterally extend the 90-day disaster emergency declaration, something he had done more than a dozen times, following approval by the voters of a state constitutional amendment curbing the emergency powers of a Pennsylvania governor.

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