Below are some important Harrisburg updates that may be helpful to you.
This week, Harrisburg saw little legislative activity, although there were hearings, a press conference and some other noteworthy events that were important to many Pennsylvanians.
First, several members in the House got together in Harrisburg to unveil legislation and hold a press conference regarding the possibility of school-sponsored athletics in the fall. While the legislation was mainly pointed at giving local school districts the ability to decide for themselves on how to best proceed with athletic events, the press conference was a wonderful opportunity to point out the reason so many are passionate about the return of athletics this fall. From football to cross-country, to band and volleyball, many of these athletes have been training all summer and following the protocols put in place after being told that following them would allow their sports to happen in the fall. Now, once again, the goalposts have been moved. You can watch the press conference here.
Along the same lines, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and Senate Education Committee Chair Wayne Langerholc, Jr. submitted a joint letter to the Executive Director of the PIAA last week to encourage delaying a decision to cancel fall sports at the behest of the Governor. As it currently stands, the PIAA has not decided to cancel any fall sports and is instead seeking a meeting with the Governor to discuss how to best move forward to protect public safety while also protecting the wishes of thousands of student-athletes and their families.
Lastly, as a spin-off of a hearing that the Senate Labor & Industry Committee had earlier in the spring regarding the failures of the Unemployment Compensation system, the House Labor & Industry Committee convened their own hearing this past Wednesday. Some of the testimony speaks for itself, and although the Department is purporting that some 98% of claimants have received benefits, the hearing discusses that number may be inaccurate. From my point of view with the number of constituents that contact my office regarding issues with the benefits, that number seems staggeringly inflated.
I encourage you to continue to stay calm and safe in whichever way you can as we ride this out together. I have been sending out newsletters almost daily with the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 with specific information related to our area. If you’re interested, you can sign up to receive these newsletters on my website, senatormensch.com. You can also keep an eye on my website for news releases, email me with questions or concerns, or find contact information for my district offices which you can get in touch with if you need anything.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 215-541-2388.
Senator Bob Mensch
24th Senatorial District