Senate Votes to Terminate Emergency Declaration, Ensure Key Waivers Remain

HARRISBURG – The Senate voted today to end Governor Tom Wolf’s emergency declaration while ensuring Pennsylvania can take the steps necessary to recover, according to Senator Bob Mensch (R-24) who supported the measures.

House Resolution 106 terminates the pandemic emergency declaration and ends the governor’s power to close employers, limit occupancy, suspend state statutes or issue stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19.

The Senate also approved House Bill 854, which will ensure all waivers that were previously effective under the COVID-19 emergency will remain in effect until September 30, 2021, unless sooner terminated by the authority which initially authorized the waiver. This protects access to critical federal funding and waivers that benefit health and safety, such as the emergency authorization of telemedicine, temporary staffing at nursing homes and personal care homes, and other staffing issues in healthcare facilities.

Voters approved two constitutional amendments in May that limited the length of disaster declarations and gave the General Assembly the sole power to extend a governor’s initial disaster declaration. The Senate actions reflects the will of the people and is a necessary step to help the Commonwealth transition out of crisis.

The measures return to the House of Representatives for consideration.

For more information on Senator Mensch’s legislation, visit www.senatormensch.com.  State updates can also be found on Senator Mensch’s Facebook at facebook.com/PASenatorBobMensch/ or Twitter @SenatorMensch.