Apr. 14, 2020

HARRISBURG –The House today approved Senate Bill 613 to require the governor to follow federal guidelines to determine which businesses are considered life-sustaining, bringing parity to the Pennsylvania business community and keeping in line with practices of surrounding states. In response, area House Republican members, who are House Appropriations Chair Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion) and Reps. Torren Ecker (R-Abbottstown), Dawn Keefer (R-Dillsburg), Kate Klunk (R-Hanover), Dan Moul (R-Gettysburg), Seth Grove (R-Dover), Mike Jones (R-York Township), Greg Rothman (R-Camp Hill), Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland), Mark Keller (R-Perry/Cumberland) and Barb Gleim (R-Carlisle) issued the following statement:

“Ever since Gov. Tom Wolf suddenly and without notice decided to close certain businesses he deemed non-essential in the Commonwealth, there have been inconsistencies in his waiver process that are picking winners and losers in our business community. A lot of the losers in this situation are the small businesses that are the backbone of our local economies and communities.

“As larger stores that sell hardware and garden supplies are allowed to remain open, small businesses that sell the exact same products have been shuttered, putting many people needlessly out of work.

“We believe certain businesses can and should operate safely by following social distancing and health guidelines. This would be achieved through an amendment to Senate Bill 613 that would require the governor to follow the most current Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce advisory list developed by the U.S Department of Homeland Security in determining if businesses are life-sustaining and should be allowed to operate. Several states, including some of those surrounding the Commonwealth, are following the tried and tested federal guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvania should do the same. Using these guidelines would put businesses here in the Commonwealth on equal footing so the Wolf administration isn’t selecting which businesses can remain open and which would remain closed.

“We strongly urge the Senate to approve this bill and for the governor to sign it into law. Pennsylvanians can work responsibly when following health and safety guidelines.”

Pennsylvania House of Representatives