Senate Sends Bill to Rein in Health Secretary’s Power, Ban Vaccine Passports to Governor’s Desk

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Senate today voted to send Gov. Tom Wolf a proposal that prevents the excess use of power by the state Secretary of Health while ensuring the protection of public health, according to Senator Bob Mensch (R-24), who supported the plan.

In addition to preventing an abuse of powers under the Disease Prevention and Control Act, Senate Bill 618 prohibits vaccine passport requirements.

The measure prohibits the Secretary of Health from mandating those who have not been exposed or in close contact with the exposed to wear a mask, stay at home or be socially distant. It also prevents the Secretary from using the same laws to force business closures.

It also prohibits the state, as well as counties, municipalities, school districts and colleges that are subsidized by state taxpayers from requiring proof of vaccination. The bill was amended in the House of Representatives to prohibit colleges and universities that receive subsidies from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency from requiring students to show proof of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Since the Senate concurred in the House’s amendments, the measure will now go to Gov. Wolf’s desk. He will have 10 days to sign the bill into law, veto it or allow the bill to become law without his signature.

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.

 

CONTACT: Madison Scarfaro mscarfaro@pasen.gov  (215) 541-2388