HARRISBURG – Just hours after announcing his version of a “plan” to reopen Pennsylvania businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed Senate Bill 613
, which included an amendment by Rep. Dawn Keefer (R-York/Cumberland) to put federally recognized standards in place to determine life sustaining businesses, (utilized by 44 other states,) and require those businesses determined to be life sustaining to follow CDC safety guidelines. In response, Keefer issued the following statement:
“I am deeply disappointed the governor has once again decided to go it alone in his decision making instead of taking input from the General Assembly. He has once again turned his back on the small businesses – its owners and employees – that are the lifeblood of our economy, while failing to protect essential workers at the same time.
“Since the start of the governor’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he has offered no insight into which businesses he’s allowed to operate other than to state they are ‘essential.’ The waiver process has been ripe with inconsistencies as the governor allowed big box stores to remain open and to sell the exact same products as small businesses that have been closed for more than a month. Desperate business owners are begging for help as they struggle with five weeks of no income, no ability to earn, and delayed assistance from unemployment compensation benefit that won’t provide any checks for at least another week.
“Last week, Pennsylvanians heard the governor say a plan to reopen our economy would be data driven and should be done in a bipartisan fashion. If the governor’s veto, which ignores data and the voices of tens of thousands of Pennsylvania business owners and employees, areanyindication of what he considers ‘bipartisanship,’ I have strong fears the status quo of the governor ignoring the General Assembly will continue and elected officials will remain shut out of the decision-making process.”
Representative Dawn Keefer
92nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross