While neither the House or the Senate were in session this week, there was nonetheless some important things happening in Harrisburg which should be highlighted. There were two notable hearings, one in the House and one in the Senate, as well as some troubling actions surrounding the Governor.
First, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a hearing regarding the Governor’s directive to have DEP begin to start implementing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, without any Legislative input or approval. This is not the first time this topic has been explored by the Legislature, and all signs point to this being a disaster for Pennsylvania in the short- and long-term. Notably, a third DEP Advisory Committee, the Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee, voted to not support the Governor’s plan. Click here to watch the full hearing.
On Thursday, the Senate State Government Committee held a hearing to explore the issues that surrounded the June 22nd Primary Election in Pennsylvania, particularly in terms of election security and concern from voters. This was the first of a number of hearings the Committee will have with a goal of eliminating the potential for fraud and abuse in our elections while simultaneously protecting the right to vote for all Pennsylvanians ahead of the November Election. More information on the hearing can eb found here.
Lastly, I feel that it’s important to highlight two deeply concerning positions taken by the Governor recently that show his true colors. First, Governor Wolf has said repeatedly in over the past couple days that he intends to veto House Bill 2463, a bill which requires Open Records Offices stay open during emergency declarations in order to process Right-to-Know requests. This bill passed both chambers unanimously, so the question remains, what is the Governor’s administration hiding?
Secondly, at the end of last week, it became clear that the Governor did not distribute the CARES Funding which was appropriated by the General Assembly for all 67 Counties to one county in particular, Lebanon. This county being the only one in the Commonwealth not to receive their rightfully appropriated funding is spiteful, shameful, and has even been called “consequences of their actions” by Governor Wolf. By withholding this funding, the Governor is punishing Lebanon County officials for their decision to open up prior to the Governor’s order, which they viewed as local control. This childish action puts the citizens of Lebanon County in serious harm of not being able to get the services and supports they need in these dire times.