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

PA House Sends Comprehensive Response Bill to Gov. Wolf’s Desk, would curtail governor’s use of emergency powers

PA House Sends Comprehensive Response Bill to Gov. Wolf’s Desk, would curtail governor’s  use of emergency powers

Harrisburg, PA

The Pennsylvania House sent a comprehensive response bill to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk and the Republican caucus strongly urges the governor to sign the bill immediately. The bill would serve to curtail the governor’s current use of emergency powers.

“Millions of Pennsylvanians are out of work, and those receiving unemployment worry they may not have an employer to return to when restrictions are lifted,” House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) said. “The multi-faceted approach, developed with bipartisan input, helps move our government forward and makes up for lost time in efforts to help our state rebuild and recover.”

Senate Bill 327 would do the following to help Pennsylvanians respond to the COVID-19 pandemic:

• Establish an inter-branch COVID-19 cost and recovery task force.
• Establish a county emergency mitigation plan for businesses, allowing local government to work with local health and emergency officials to develop reopening strategies that meet their unique circumstances.
• Provide emergency regulatory tolling, which means putting any new regulations not related to COVID-19 on a temporary pause before being implemented.
• Require the governor to notify the General Assembly any time a specific statute or regulation is suspended, modified or waived under executive order.
• Work to find significant cost reductions by examining and potentially refinancing all state debts, and also produce a comprehensive report of all state-owned properties and leases.

“Gov. Wolf has asked every Pennsylvanian to make significant sacrifices to their daily lives, including to their individual liberties,” Cutler said. “It is imperative that we show our residents that those sacrifices will be recognized by their government. Counties are taking strides to develop their own testing and reopening plans and should be empowered to make decisions for their own communities.

“There is nothing to celebrate about this virus; however, one impact is substantially reduced borrowing costs. Fully examining state debts, establishing a recovery task force and putting a temporary pause on new regulations, are all important steps in helping our state rise from this pandemic stronger than ever before.”