In This Update:
Legislative Leaders Announce Plans to Address Election Concerns
In response to the distrust that grew out of the 2020 general election, Senate and House Republican leaders announced plans this week to restore confidence in the state’s election system and begin the process of making meaningful reforms.
In a statement, legislative leaders said the General Assembly will use its statutory power to review the most pressing issues lawmakers found over the last three weeks of investigation. The issues under review include election security and the manner in which votes are counted, the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s management of the 2020 General Election, and the impact of the Judiciary on the 2020 General Election and subsequent candidate legal challenges.
Senate Republicans have also over the past few months brought or participated in several legal actions to challenge practices we did not believe complied with the Election Code, Pennsylvania Constitution, and United States Constitution. The President’s – and any candidate’s – right to present evidence in court to challenge the process and manner of the election should not be undercut, and some of these legal actions continue.
Lawmakers Review 2020 Election Concerns
In the weeks since the 2020 election, hundreds of community residents have contacted me to raise concerns about the way that the election process was handled. Last week, the Senate Majority Policy Committee held a hearing to vet these issues and learn more about the irregularities that have been reported.
Many of the concerns raised during the hearing were the direct result of the blatantly partisan actions of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the Department of State in the days and weeks leading up to the election. Passing new reform measures to protect the integrity of our elections must be among our highest priorities when the General Assembly reconvenes next month to begin the 2021-22 Legislative Session.
Governor Rejects New Protections for Schools, Businesses, Health Care Providers
As businesses, schools and health care providers continue to struggle from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these organizations face a new threat in the form of frivolous lawsuits related to the virus. The financial consequences of these lawsuits could push businesses to the brink of bankruptcy and cost taxpayers exorbitant sums of money to fight civil actions against schools.
Lawmakers approved a bill recently that would have protected these groups against lawsuits when they acted in good faith and followed the directives of the CDC and the Department of Health. Unfortunately, the governor vetoed the legislation this week, leaving these organizations vulnerable to financial ruin – even when they followed every piece of guidance and every rule put in place by the Wolf Administration.
Legislative Update: 25 Bills Signed into Law
A total of 25 bills approved by lawmakers during the final week of the 2019-20 Legislative Session were signed into law recently, including measures that will:
Details on many of these bills are available at pasenategop.com.
PennDOT Encourages Students to Explore Transportation Funding Challenges
PennDOT’s annual Innovations Challenge program invites students in 9th through 12th grades to explore solutions to real-world transportation problems. This year’s contest encourages students to submit their ideas on how to provide stable and sufficient funding to support critical transportation upgrades.
The deadline to submit an entry is December 18.
Remembering the Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, resulted in the deaths of more than 2,400 Americans and is widely considered one of the key turning points in World War II. Each year on December 7, the nation pauses in reverence for those who lost their lives on that fateful day.
More details on scheduled events in observance of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day are available through the National Park Service.