Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vetoes bills on transgender athletes in school sports, poll watchers

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday rejected three bills passed by the Republican-majority legislature and vetoed measures related to transgender athletes in school sports and election observers.

He also struck down the Human Services Code and blew a hole in the state budget as lawmakers tried to end the annual spate of votes that accompany the annual spending plan.

Wolf previously warned that he would scrap the bill to ban transgender athletes from playing sports that conform to their gender identity. In his veto message, he said the law will “have a devastating impact on a vulnerable population that is already at greater risk of bullying and depression.”

He also vetoed a bill sponsored by Franklin County Sen. Doug Mastriano, the GOP’s candidate for governor, to allow all registered Pennsylvania voters to serve as election observers in every county in the state.

“This law does nothing to improve voting access,” he wrote. “Instead, this law undermines the integrity of our electoral process and encourages voter intimidation.”

Wolf’s third veto was based on a provision in the Human Service Code that would have prohibited a government agency from contracting with a provider of financial management services.

“These self-directed services allow participants to make decisions about their own care, with this model supporting both participants and direct caregivers,” he wrote in his veto message.

Vetoing the legislation created a $1.8 billion gap in the budget, Wolf said, but after veto lawmakers incorporated language from the Human Services Code into another bill and passed it.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vetoes bills on transgender athletes in school sports, poll watchers

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