By: Don Shaw email: don.shaw@pennsylvaniachronicle.com (570) 543-2961

Legislature’s Effort to Save Lives and Livelihoods Erased by the Stroke of the Governor’s Pen says PA House Speaker

Legislature’s Effort to Save Lives and Livelihoods Erased by the Stroke of the Governor’s Pen says PA House Speaker
Harrisburg, PA

With the COVID-19 health crisis constantly evolving and state unemployment claims growing to more than 1.5 million, Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) yesterday expressed disappointment as the governor vetoed key legislation aimed at helping all Pennsylvanians through the health care crisis.

“Our efforts are and have been focused on giving people hope for the future as well as some peace of mind,” Turzai said. “We have to fight the COVID-19 crisis, but we also have to prevent the collapse of Pennsylvania’s economy.”

According to Turzai, the now-vetoed Senate Bill 613 would have required the governor to put together a mitigation plan to allow only safe and essential businesses as laid out in Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidelines, to reopen, in line with a majority of states; require employers to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines; and protect public health and welfare while respecting people’s livelihoods.

According to Turzai, constituents have been contacting legislators expressing the real-life impacts of not working, including losing their jobs, losing their health care coverage and being unable to provide food for their families.

“We can fight the COVID-19 crisis and act to prevent the collapse of Pennsylvania’s economy,” Turzai said. “People can work safely – and want to work safely – during the COVID-19 crisis, and the governor knows it as his administration haphazardly granted waivers and today he signed Senate Bill 841, which will allow ‘e-notary’ provisions to enable various business and legal transactions to occur.”

The CDC guidance can be accessed here.