Pa. court overturns Gov. Wolf's home care order

Gov. Wolf speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, at the Trolley Car Diner in Philadelphia.

In a 4 to 1 decision, Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania said Gov. Wolf exceeded his authority with a Feb. 2015 executive order that allowed  the establishment of an intermediary between certain home aids paid under a Medicaid waiver and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.

"At its core, the Executive Order invades the relationship between a [direct-care worker] and the employer participant who receives personal services in his or her home," Judge Robert Simpson wrote in a 35-page decision. 

Critics of the order said the move amounted to forced unionization. The selected intermediary, United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania, is a joint venture of two union,  Service Employees International Union and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The governor's office said he was disappointed by the decision. "He believes that home care workers should be able to communicate directly with the Department of Human Services, but the Court has disagreed.  We are reviewing the decision and considering options for the best path forward," a spokesman said.