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Friday, July 17, 2020

Capitol Update by Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Thursday, July 16, 2020 The latest news from the State Capitol
 Please do not reply directly to this email, as it returns to an unmanned account.
You are welcome to contact me through this link.

Happy Anniversary to Carlson’s!

Congratulations to Carlson's Country Store in my hometown of Turtlepoint as they celebrate their 100th anniversary of being in business this year! I was honored to present a House citation to George and Ginny Carlson, who operate the store along with Jim Carlson.

Wolf Tightens Restrictions on Bars, Restaurants, Gatherings Again

Citing increased cases of COVID-19 in some parts of the state, Gov. Tom Wolf has again tightened restrictions on some of the state’s businesses. Specifically, bars and restaurants will be limited to 25% occupancy (including staff), events and gatherings are limited to 25 people indoors and 250 outdoors, and all businesses able to do so are required to conduct business remotely. The order took effect just after midnight Thursday morning.

Once again, the governor has made a unilateral decision that will have a devastating impact on many small business owners and employees. This statewide, one-size-fits-all approach fails to take into account the varied levels of infection rates in rural, urban and suburban communities. By failing to work with local officials and lawmakers, the governor has essentially stifled the voices of millions of Pennsylvanians.

Read more about legislative efforts to limit emergency powers and restore local control to our communities in the articles below.

Full text of the governor’s order is available here.

Important Information for UC Claimants

If you are forced to again claim unemployment benefits as a result of the governor’s order, please note that if you’ve had a claim within the last year and were applying for benefits, you SHOULD NOT file a new claim. Instead, you should reopen the existing claim. Opening a new claim when you should instead re-open an existing one will cause more problems and delays. Learn more here.

House Votes to Amend Constitution, Ensure Citizens are Heard During Emergencies

Click here to view video.

The state House has approved a proposed constitutional amendment to ensure our citizens are fully represented, even during state-declared emergencies.

The proposal comes in response to the governor’s prolonged, four-month (so far) disaster declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in extensive unilateral actions that have had devastating impacts on our citizens. With the governor refusing to work with the General Assembly to develop a reasonable path forward through the pandemic, the people you elected to represent you in these matters have been shut out of the process, effectively silencing YOUR voice.

We must ensure this never happens again.

Senate Bill 1166 seeks to amend the state Constitution by requiring passage of a concurrent resolution by the Legislature for any disaster emergency declaration a governor wishes to extend beyond a period of 21 days. This would provide an effective balance between ensuring the governor has the authority to act quickly in an immediate emergency situation while also ensuring the General Assembly is properly engaged in the process of addressing long-term response and recovery processes.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. A constitutional amendment proposal must be approved by both the House and Senate in two consecutive sessions and then be put before the voters in a referendum before it can be enacted.

The need for this change to the Constitution was reinforced Tuesday when the governor vetoed the concurrent resolution adopted with bipartisan support in the House and Senate to end the disaster declaration. While we believe House Resolution 836 stood on its own and did not require the governor to approve or veto it, the state Supreme Court ruled otherwise. That’s why Senate Bill 1166 also includes a proposed amendment to establish that a resolution terminating or extending a disaster emergency declaration, including a portion thereof, need not be presented to the governor.

Bills Aim to Boost Local Control During Ongoing Pandemic

Continuing the effort to restart the economy and recognize the varied impacts of COVID-19 in different areas of the state, the House approved two bills this week to give county officials the authority to develop their own reopening plans.

House Bill 2541 would allow the governing body of a county, in consultation with the county emergency management agency, county health department, county health officer or any other appropriate health or emergency management official, to develop and implement a countywide reopening plan for businesses subject to closure by the governor due to the spread of a communicable disease during a public health emergency.

House Bill 2549 would permit county leaders to move their counties to a “green plus” phase of business reopening, based on the specific circumstances in their counties. Empowering local decisionmakers who see firsthand the specific circumstances and challenges in their communities would be more effective than a one-size-fits-all response when it comes to helping employers reopen and recover.

Both measures go to the Senate for consideration.

House Sends Bill to Boost New Jobs to Governor’s Desk

A measure designed to boost job creation through tax credits to attract industries that use methane in the manufacture of petrochemicals and fertilizers in the northeastern region of the state will soon become law after being approved by both the House and Senate this week.

The concept is part of the House Republican Caucus’ GoodJobs4PA initiative, which aims to grow the economy and facilitate well-paying career opportunities for citizens across the Commonwealth. While the original proposal – House Bill 1100 – was vetoed by the governor earlier this year, House Bill 732 includes minor modifications to the proposal that have the support of the administration.

It is estimated the Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit could generate more than $600 million in annual labor income and leverage more than $1.6 billion in economic output.

DCNR Seeking Input on PA State Forests

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is seeking public input on the future course for state forestlands in Pennsylvania. Available through Aug. 31, the survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. Stakeholders, outdoors enthusiasts and others who visit and enjoy the more than 2.2 million acres of state forestlands will be asked to weigh in on perceived individual forest use, and personal values placed on state forests. Survey responses will help the agency’s strategic plan for the Bureau of Forestry and guide the department’s leadership in forest management and conservation on both public and private lands in urban and rural areas. Details on Pennsylvania’s state forestlands and 20 state forest districts can be found here.


Anonymous said...

Anybody want to talk about the 1000 plus new cases of covid-19 today ? How about the new local infections ? 5,600 new cases in the last week, anybody ? Trump wanted the Governors to handle this pandemic... Now you want the local leaders to handle it. Until people take personal responsibility this virus is going nowhere. Wolf will have no choice but to shut the entire state down. Wear you mask and quit rolling the dice.

Anonymous said...

Drain the swamp!!! Time for Marty to go!!! He’s a republican robot.

Anonymous said...

Cases may be up but deaths are down ,look at all the data look at the cases for the flu for 2019-2020 testing positive is does not mean the end of the world. It was the deaths that were the biggest concern and most of those cases were worsened by co-morbitities.

Anonymous said...

The flu comes and goes.... This virus isn`t going anywhere and people are still dying.

Anonymous said...

what forests there are none. left deer bears are migrating to town foraging for food better leadership and less developing i am native and my heart breaks what has become of all our natural beauty and pollution of our streams they are bringing their city ways with them

Anonymous said...

@2:33 - Deaths lag behind the spike by about 3 to 4 weeks. We haven't hit that point yet, hence the false sense of "it's no big deal" as perpetuated by the right leaning media. For once I wish their propaganda were true because it's much more comforting to hear than what the data shows.

Just like you, I truly hope that something is changing, and the mortality rate stays down too, but I'm not holding my breath just yet.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention all the out of staters who make more money elsewhere and can afford to buy up all the land and post it for out of state hunters to come from the flatlands and kill our deer.

POOR AND MAD said...

For the claim unemployment benefits info, please explain how independent contractors can get the benefits under the CARES Act. PA has shut them out entirely, and nobody CARES. The link is foe direct employees . How can independent contactors get their applications addressed? PA should be shameful at thier handling to this situation. Pay to play is live and well in PA. Talk about grease one's hand. How can people pay bills is their are told not to work? TOTAL BS==>> STATE and COUNTY want thier taxes and fees and share of every dollar regardless.

Anonymous said...

Marty needs to take comfort in the fact that he always runs unopposed here in Trump country. If the people here in Potter didn't tow the party line and would take an honest assessment, they would see that the Republicans have done absolutely nothing for our area. Where are the jobs? Are we really threatened by immigrants? Someone please tell me what if anything that Martin has done for Potter county. I have lived here for 17 years and have seen this area finally showing their colors since Trump became president. Hillbilly racism is the best kind! (Sarcasm for those that don't get it)