(HARRISBURG) – Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) issued the following statement regarding the House Rules Committee vote today to remove language that would have allowed for local elected officials to be involved in the re-opening of Pennsylvania. Scarnati’s amendment to Senate Bill 327 provided local control by allowing the governing body of a county, in consultation with their local health and emergency management officials, to develop and implement a countywide plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 for businesses. The county mitigation plan would require businesses to use the recommended guidance for mitigating exposure to COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to operate within the county.
“Last week the Senate took a positive step forward to amend Senate Bill 327 and send this important measure to the House of Representatives. As amended, Senate Bill 327 allowed for the safe re-opening of Pennsylvania’s economy through local decision making. This vital piece of legislation was supported by all 29 members of the Senate Republican Caucus.
“I am extremely disappointed that today the House of Representatives stripped out this important language to allow for local officials to have input in the re-opening of our state. The vote taken by the House Rules Committee, chaired by the House Majority Leader, was a vote against businesses and employees who want to safely go back to work now.
“We all must work together to help our state move forward and recover from this public health emergency. It is not enough to say that you support businesses and want people to be able to work. Brookville is not Manhattan. Emporium is not Philadelphia. This pandemic has affected all areas of our Commonwealth differently, but all elected officials must be willing to vote to protect our Constitution and our freedoms.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Kate Flessner