Republicans Are Taking Action What are Republicans doing? We are taking action on behalf of the millions of frustrated and worried Pennsylvanians. We are acting to help people get back to work and helping government work more efficiently on this crisis. While working to help mitigate the COVID-19 health crisis, the fact is, people are worried about not having a job, going broke and losing their savings. We are responsibly looking at businesses where people can work safely through social distancing – industry by industry while also following doctor-approved CDC guidelines. We recognize we are in pandemic, and we recognize everyone is making sacrifices – but we don’t have to trade one pandemic for another – we are acting to find solutions to the long-term impacts – so we can recover, rebuild and grow Pennsylvania once this comes to an end. >> Read the timeline of action that PA House Republicans have taken during the COVID pandemic. View larger Here's What Governor Wolf Has Vetoed • SB 613 Requires the governor to develop and implement a mitigation plan to allow businesses to operate during the disaster emergency, provided business comply with recommendations by the CDC and CISA. (107-95). VETOED by the governor (Veto No. 3, 4/20/20) • SB 857 Would authorize health care providers to use telemedicine; and to require insurers to provide coverage and reimbursement for its appropriate use by participating network providers. (111-77). VETOED by the governor (Veto No. 4, 4/29/20) • SB 327 Amends the Administrative Code to require the Department of General Services (DGS) to conduct an annual survey of state facility usage; and creates four new articles relating to: COVID-19 Emergency Statutory and Regulatory Suspensions and Waivers; COVID-19 Debt Cost Reduction Review; COVID-19 Cost and Recovery Task Force; COVID-19 Emergency Regulatory Tolling; and COVID-19 County Emergency Mitigation Plan for Businesses. (108-94). VETOED by the governor. (Veto No. 7, 5/19/20) • HB 2412 Amends the Administrative Code of 1929 (Code) to add a new Article relating to Emergency COVID-19 provisions regarding issuance of a waiver to the Governor’s Business Closure Order for real estate related activities. (125-77). VETOED by the governor. (Veto No. 6, 5/19/20) • HB 2388 Amends the Administrative Code to add a new Article relating to Emergency COVID-19 provisions regarding extension of waiver provisions to vehicle dealer activities. (113-89). VETOED by the governor. (Veto No. 5, 5/19/20) Laws Enacted and Bills Awaiting Senate Action Education Remains a Priority • Act 13 of 2020 The emergency Education Code bill, ensures school districts develop a local plan to continue teaching students during the closure of schools, and make their plans available for parents to review. The bill also requires notice be sent to the parents of all special education students for a plan to ensure the students are receiving “free and appropriate public education.” The bill further eliminates the 180-day instruction requirement on all public and non-public schools, and allows the state to increase the number of allowable flexible instruction days and waives the timeline regarding those days. The legislation will ensure teachers are paid, as there will be no loss of state funding due to the health care crisis. Finally, the legislation ensures that once the current crisis has ended, school buses will be ready to provide bus service. (198-0). • Act 15 of 2020 Protects educational opportunities for low-income students; allowing various contracts to be renegotiated for the period of the school closure. Maintaining Safe Elections • Act 12 of 2020 Delays the state’s April 28 primary election until June 2. (198-0). • HB 2502 Would require the Department of State to issue a report on the administration of the 2020 general primary by the Department of State, county boards of elections and voter registration commissions. (201-1). Managing the Crisis • HB 1189 requires health care facilities to notify the Department of Health (DOH) with certain demographic data. (202-0). • HB 2415 Amends the Administrative Code of 1929 (Code) to add a new Article relating to COVID-19 Emergency Statutory and Regulatory Suspensions and Waivers which places notification requirements on the Governor when a specific statute or regulation is suspended, modified or waived under the COVID-19 declaration of disaster emergency. (128-74). • HB 2419 Amends the Administrative Code of 1929 (Code) to add a new Article relating to the establishment of the COVID-19 Cost and Recovery Task Force. (109-93). • HB 2455 Amends the Administrative Code to provide for local health department COVID-19 antibody testing and to add Article XXI-C, COVID-19 Emergency Testing Plan and Reporting. (201-1). • HB 2463 Amends the Administrative Code of 1929 (Code) to add a new Article relating to Access to Public Records During Disaster Declaration. (202-0). Opening Opportunities and Businesses Safely • Act 15 of 2020 Also allows for remote notarization during the COVID-19 emergency; authorize any agency, department, authority, commission, board, council, governing body, or other entity of a political subdivision to conduct hearings, meetings, proceedings and other business through authorized telecommunication devices for the duration of the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration. (202-0). • Act 21 of 2020 Amends the Liquor Code to provide for prepared beverages and mixed drinks for off-premise consumption. (193-9). • HB 2370 Amends Title 57 (Notaries Public) and 42 (Judiciary and Judicial procedure) to permit notaries in the Commonwealth to notarize documents electronically via audio-visual communication. (202-0). • HB 2376 Amends Title 35 to include sections relating to retail store closure during the declaration of disaster emergency that allow re-opening of retail stores able to meet certain requirements; and for contactless and curbside business operations for certain businesses during the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration. (112-90). • HB 2400 Amends the Administrative Code to add a new Article entitled Emergency COVID-19 provisions to extend the waiver of the Governor’s Business Closure Order to all public and private construction activities. (111-91). • HB 2429 Amends the Administrative Code of 1929 (Code) to add a new Article relating to Emergency COVID-19 provisions regarding extension of waiver provisions to lawn and garden equipment and supplies stores. (133-69). • HB 2433 Amends the Administrative Code to add a new Article relating to Emergency COVID-19 provisions regarding issuance of a waiver to the Governor’s Business Closure Order for messenger service and agent service activities. (112-90). Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorder • HB 1439 Amends Title 40(Insurance) requiring certification of compliance by an insurer with federal and state law governing mental health parity. (202-0). • HB 1696 Amends Insurance Company Law (Act 284 of 1921) to require insurers to conduct analyses and ensure availability to the Insurance Department detailing mental health parity compliance. (202-0). Taking Care of Those Who Take Care of Others • Act 9 of 2020 Supports health care facilities and workers that are treating patients affected by the virus. (198-0). • Act 10 of 2020 Helps Pennsylvania’s frontline health care facilities by allowing the secretary of the Budget to transfer up to $50 million to purchase medical equipment and supplies for hospitals, nursing facilities, and emergency medical services to meet patient and staff needs to respond to COVID-19. (198-0). • Act 17 of 2020 Provides Basic Life Support (BLS) staffing waivers for all counties and creates new Chapters for COVID-19 Enforcement Officer Disability Benefits and COVID-19 Benefits for Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard. (195-0). • HB 1189 Extends benefits for an employee subject to Act 193 of 1935, commonly referred to as the Enforcement Officer Disability Benefits Law or the Heart & Lung Act, who contracts or is diagnosed with, or is in quarantine due to exposure to, the novel coronavirus identified in the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, extends the expiration for PennDOT Renewals; and establishes a Volunteer emergency responders employer tax credit. (202-0). • HB 2413 Amends the Fiscal Code (Act 176 of 1929) to provide assistance for volunteer service organizations to respond to the novel coronavirus- includes $10 million to assist the operations of the commonwealth’s volunteer service organizations related to COVID-19 response and $30 million to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). (202-0). • HB 2435 Provides for a Food Establishment Pandemic Disease Remediation Cost Reimbursement Grant Program. (202-0). Taxpayer Relief and Protections • Act 15 of 2020 Also provides taxpayer relief by authorizing the governing body of a county or municipality to extend the discount period to Aug. 31, 2020, and/or waive any penalty or late fee until Dec. 31, 2020, to provide relief for taxpayers. • HB 1076 Amends the Taxpayer Relief Act to allow the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions to respond to the impacts of the novel coronavirus: to permit DOR to reimburse a claim for a property tax/rent rebate for 2019 immediately and provides authorization for all public school district to implement a senior tax reduction incentive volunteer exchange program. (202-0). • HB 1822 Provides for changes to the Local Government Capital Project Loan Program, provides employment protections for employees during the pandemic, and provides for restrictions on Special Funds. (105-97). • HB 2392 Requires the IFO to include critical risk factors in the assessment of the current and future fiscal conditions of the Commonwealth, and track monies distributed under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. • HB 2408 Amends the Fiscal Code to exempt recovery rebates and Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act from state and local taxation and increase endowment spending limitations for nonprofit corporations and charitable trusts. (202-0). • HB 2418 Amends the Administrative Code to require the identification of and review of all outstanding debt obligations of the Commonwealth and its authorities, commissions, agencies, boards or other State-authorized entities to be conducted by the Treasury Department. (131-71). Unemployment Compensation During the Pandemic to Help Families • Act 9 of 2020 Also updates the state Unemployment compensation law to extend relief to affected employees. (198-0). Safety in Food Operations • HB 2435 : Provides for a Food Establishment Pandemic Disease Remediation Cost Reimbursement Grant Program and requirements for the program to determine what pandemic disease remediation costs would be reimbursed. (202-0). • HB 2506 : Would allow any restaurant, bar or private club which serves food or beverages to reopen for outdoor public patronage in any county designated as “yellow” or “green,” as long as state and federal guidelines are followed. (133-69). • HB 2513 : Would allow any restaurant, bar or private club which serves food or beverages to reopen for indoor public patronage in any county designated as “yellow” or “green,” as long as state and federal guidelines are followed. (117-85).