Harrisburg, June 9, 2020 – State Senator John Yudichak (I-Luzerne/Carbon) released the following statement on HR 836 and SB 1166.
“From the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have urged the Governor and my legislative colleagues to work in a collaborative spirit that set aside ideological differences to rally our Commonwealth behind commonsense ideas to protect both lives and livelihoods in our efforts to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“We have worked together to drive much needed pandemic related resources to our nursing homes, our hospitals, and our communities; however, far too often the Administration has opted for unilateral action that pushes the boundaries of its legal authority under an emergency declaration.
“Driven more by ideology than scientific data, the Administration has advanced many policies without input from legislative or community leaders that have lacked the necessary transparency to elicit confidence from citizens who have been asked to sacrifice a great deal during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With nearly two million Pennsylvanians forced out of work and more than a half a million businesses closed down, taxpayers are demanding and deserve a state government that works together in the face of an emergency.
“The actions taken by the Senate would, through a joint resolution with the House of Representatives and an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution, terminate the Governor’s emergency declaration and advance constitutional language that any future emergency declaration beyond a thirty day order would require the approval of the General Assembly.
“Crisis demands collaboration, and House Resolution 836 and Senate Bill 1166 would simply set the stage for a collaborative framework that requires our elected leaders to work together to protect and empower citizens in the face of this emergency and all future emergencies.”
HR 836 passed the Senate by a vote of 31-19. Senate Bill 1166 is awaiting consideration by the full Senate.