Jul. 22, 2020

HARRISBURG - The Lancaster County Republican Delegation – House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom), Mindy Fee (R-Manheim), Keith J. Greiner (R-Upper Leacock), Dave Hickernell (R-West Donegal), Brett Miller (R-East Hempfield), Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz) and Dave Zimmerman (R-East Earl) – issued the following statement after the announcement from Gov. Tom Wolf at yesterday’s press conference that he plans to veto House Bill 2463. The bill would ensure Right-to-Know (RTK) requests are answered during state of emergency declarations and it was passed unanimously by the General Assembly.

“Gov. Tom Wolf’s actions during his COVID-19 disaster declaration continue to puzzle constituents and the Legislature. His refusal to sign a government transparency bill is now part of a series of steps going too far during this state-declared emergency. With the use of his veto pen, the governor has effectively eliminated any outside input that could be helpful for the Commonwealth to move forward and now he is threatening to do so again.

“This bill wouldn’t just allow information sharing between the Legislature and the governor, but it would allow the public and the press to seek answers on critical questions as well. During a public health emergency, these questions are vital to ensuring our government is doing everything possible to keep citizens safe in addition to promoting accountability.

“Moreover, it is perhaps most troubling that Gov. Wolf has decided only he has the knowledge to make life-or-death decisions for our businesses, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and small-town rural hospitals. This has resulted in the utter economic devastation of our mom-and-pop small businesses that are the pillars of our communities, as well as our local health care facilities.

“No one person has the capacity to govern and issue mandates that affect the lives and livelihoods of millions of citizens across a diverse state during an emergency. It was for these circumstances that our Founders created three co-equal branches of government. We urge the governor to listen to the voices of unemployed Pennsylvanians, small business owners and those who have lost family members due to COVID-19. There are perhaps millions of dissatisfied Pennsylvanians who deserve answers, and the governor has made himself the only one who can answer them. It’s time for Gov. Wolf to sign House Bill 2463.”

Lancaster County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives