Senate Plans to Vote to Override Governor’s Veto of School Sports Measure

(HARRISBURG) – The Senate will vote to override Governor Wolf’s veto of a bill that would allow local school districts to have the final say on whether to allow school sports, extracurricular activities and spectators during the 2020-2021 school year, once the measure is received from the House of Representatives, announced Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25).

According to Scarnati, House Bill 2787 was passed by the Senate earlier this month and would allow local school districts to develop their own health and safety plans that reflect the realities facing schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety plans would be required to be posted online and submitted to the Department of Education.

 “Governor Wolf’s veto of this important legislation ignores the desires of the majority of Pennsylvanians,” Scarnati said.  “We all want to keep our loved ones safe during these challenging times, however, every area of our Commonwealth has been impacted differently by this public health emergency, and a one-size-fits-all approach does not work.  I am very disappointed by the Governor’s veto of this legislation, which received overwhelming support by both Democrats and Republicans.”

Scarnati explained that under the Constitution, because the bill originated in the House, that chamber must first gain a two-thirds majority vote in order to override the Governor’s veto. It would then go to the Senate for consideration where a two-thirds majority vote is also needed.

In originally passing House Bill 2787, the House voted 155-47, with 135 votes needed to override a veto. The Senate originally passed the bill by a vote of 39-11, with 34 votes needed for an override.

The bill includes safeguards and would prohibit any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 in a transmissible stage from participating in any sporting event or extracurricular activity.

Most recently, Governor Wolf abruptly called for the cancellation of all fall sports this year. However, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) later voted to allow school sports to continue after discussing the issue at length with all stakeholders.

CONTACT:  Kate Flessner kflessner@pasen.gov 717-787-7084