HARRISBURG – The state House today advanced two pieces of legislation designed to keep Pennsylvania jobs competitive with neighboring states during the COVID-19 pandemic, while offering local governments and their constituents some flexibility during the pandemic.
State Reps. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) and Tommy Sankey (R-Clearfield/Cambria) issued the following statement in reaction to House passage of Senate Bills 613
, which now await Senate consideration Wednesday before heading to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk:
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have spent countless hours working with constituents who are worried and frustrated. They are asking how the governor made the determination of whether or not their job is ‘essential’ or ‘life-sustaining’ and are wondering how they will pay their bills. The decisions made by this administration lack transparency and uniformity, and hard-working Pennsylvanians are paying the price.
“Senate Bill 613, which we proudly supported today, would place Pennsylvania’s ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’ list on par with our neighboring states by following federal guidelines rather than the confusing lists and waivers that have been an endless source of stress since the governor’s shutdown order went into effect. Under this bill, Pennsylvanians will no longer have to worry about losing their jobs to their competitors across the state line during the COVID shutdown.
“Under Senate Bill 841, property tax discount periods would be extended for property owners and municipalities would have leniency to exercise when it comes to late payment fees and penalties. Local governments would also be permitted to meet virtually as opposed to face to face, which allows them to respect each other’s personal choice and level of comfort.
“Pennsylvanians are hurting. Many people in our communities are scared. It’s time to provide hope by charting a course that allows citizens to safely and carefully take charge of the situation. We are not calling for business as usual, but we are advancing solutions that look to the future and enable us to work toward a brighter tomorrow. These bills chart that course, and we urge our Senate colleagues and the governor to quickly advance them for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians.”