Senate Votes to Terminate Emergency Declaration, Ensure Key Waivers Remain
HARRISBURG – The Senate voted today to end Gov. Tom Wolf’s emergency declaration while ensuring Pennsylvania can take the steps necessary to recover, according to Senator Cris Dush who strongly supported the measures.
House Resolution 106 terminates the pandemic emergency declaration and ends the governor’s power to close employers, limit occupancy, suspend state statutes or issue stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19.
The Senate also approved House Bill 854, which will ensure all waivers that were previously effective under the COVID-19 emergency will remain in effect until Sept. 30, 2021, unless sooner terminated by the authority which initially authorized the waiver. This protects access to critical federal funding and waivers that benefit health and safety, such as the emergency authorization of telemedicine, temporary staffing at nursing homes and personal care homes, and other staffing issues in health care facilities.
“The people have decided that we have the ability to withdraw the emergency declaration”, stated Sen. Dush. “My constituents have spoken loudly that they want this over. So today, we are answering the call of our people. God bless them and God bless our Commonwealth”.
House Bill 854 was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the governor for enactment.
Voters approved two constitutional amendments in May that limited the length of disaster declarations and gave the General Assembly the sole power to extend a governor’s initial disaster declaration. The Senate action reflects the will of the people and is a necessary step to help the Commonwealth transition out of crisis.
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