The citizens of the Commonwealth have been through so much over the past several months, from economic lockdown to struggling with receiving unemployment compensation from the Department of Labor and Industry. While Pennsylvania has been reopening, thanks to the work of House and senate Republicans, there are still two important pieces of COVID-19 policy the Legislature must address prior to the election: fraud and civil immunity. Currently in the House, House Bill 2352 is ready for action. This bill would create a state false claims act and provide civil immunity protections from COVID-19.
One of the unfortunate side effects of the mandates in response to COVID-19, such as the stay-at-home order, is a sharp increase in domestic violence. During the height of the stay-at-home order. Police departments in York County saw upticks in the number of domestic violence calls, including York Area Regional Police that saw a 36% increase, according to media reports.
HARRISBURG – More than five months after announcing his intention to audit Gov. Tom Wolf’s business shutdown waiver program, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today offered a progress report - not a final report - on his findings.
KINGSTON – As Pennsylvania’s economy is slowly recovering and additional economic solutions are being sought, the House and Senate Majority Policy committees, along with Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne), held a joint hearing and met with area industrial and union leaders to discuss the economic impact and benefits of the Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit.
More than $1.14 million in grants were awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) to communities in the 32nd Senatorial District for sewer and water line replacements, sewage system and plant upgrades and stormwater management Senator Pat Stefano (R-32) and Representative Matt Dowling (R-51) announced today.
HARRISBURG – In a sternly worded letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) urged Secretary W. Gerard Oleksiak to get the unemployment compensation (UC) system fixed as millions of Pennsylvanians continue to file for unemployment benefits.
HARRISBURG – Transparency legislation, House Bill 2463, which unanimously passed the Legislature, will become law without the governor’s signature, Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) said.
During the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, most government offices locked their doors and sent their staffs home to work remotely. I am very proud to say that my office, following the Department of Health guidelines, has remained open for business during the pandemic, even if we weren’t accepting walk-in visitors. Despite all counties in Pennsylvania now being in the “green” phase, which means that business can open safely, agencies under Gov. Tom Wolf’s jurisdiction continue to be closed. Nearly all his employees continue to “work from home,” and I feel this is unacceptable.
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) was officially appointed today by Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) to serve as majority chairman of the House Commerce Committee for the remainder of the 2019-20 session.
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Health is no longer conducting weekly televised news conferences to update the spread of COVID-19. State Reps. Tommy Sankey (R-Hastings) and Jim Rigby (R-Johnstown) are now calling on the state’s Department of Labor and Industry to begin a similar practice by regularly addressing the Commonwealth’s economic “health” in a public forum.
DOVER – Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) released today a report on the costs Pennsylvanians pay in interest for intergovernmental loans.
HARRISBURG – The House today approved multiple bills, all part of a comprehensive package of legislation to ensure taxpayer dollars are not being used fraudulently or misspent. Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover), who spearheaded the initiative to create the bill package and is the sponsor of House Bill 2352, issued the following statement:
HARRISBURG – Legislation to ensure that women receive coverage for custom breast prosthetics when that choice is the best option post-mastectomy surgery has been approved by the state Senate, said Rep. Meghan Schroeder (R-Bucks), who authored the measure.
A 24/7 telephone hotline where callers can report suspected child abuse or neglect saw a 10% increase in phone calls between March and May but reports are still far fewer than calls made during that time span in 2019, according to state Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller.
HARRISBURG – An amendment introduced by Rep. John Hershey (R-Mifflin/Juniata/Franklin) to the state’s Fiscal Code bill would prohibit bans or taxes on single-use plastic bags in Pennsylvania until the end of Gov. Tom Wolf’s emergency declaration for COVID-19.
HARRISBURG – At the request of Republican members from the southeast region of Pennsylvania, $10 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to go to entities across the state working on research and development of a coronavirus vaccine, such as Wistar Institute in Philadelphia.
HARRISBURG - State Rep. Jim Rigby (R-Johnstown) firmly believes “you can’t spend what you don’t have, especially when you don’t know what you have.” With that as a basis, he joined colleagues on both sides of the aisle today in sending to Gov. Tom Wolf the package of state budget legislation for the first portion of the 2020-21 fiscal year.
HARRISBURG – Taking action today to help protect 123,000 Pennsylvanians living in the state’s nursing home facilities, personal care homes and assisted living residences, the Senior Protection Act, House Bill 2510, authored by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) and co-sponsored by Reps. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny) and Bill Kortz (D-Allegheny) to help these facilities keep loved ones safe, passed the House and is heading to the governor’s desk for his signature, Turzai said.
Some of the most gut-wrenching conversations I’ve had with constituents have come over the past two months or so. They all carried a common theme: Unemployment benefits…or more like the lack thereof.
For months we have been told by Gov. Tom Wolf and Department of Health Secretary Rachael Levine that senior citizens, one of our most vulnerable populations, are at a greater risk of dying from COVID-19 and that we must do all we can to protect them.