(HARRISBURG) – The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee voted today to subpoena documents related to mandated business closures related to COVID-19 after Governor Wolf and the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) failed to provide the information.
The committee voted 7-4 to subpoena the records relating to the process by which employers could request a waiver or exemption from the business closure order of March 19, 2020. The hearing is available online. Committee Chairman Senator Mike Regan (R-31) and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34) also met with the media following the hearing.
“Legislative action may be necessary to correct these inequities, both as part of the ongoing pandemic, as well as for any future emergencies,” said Senator Mike Regan (R-31), chairman of the committee. “In order to determine the necessity, scope and terms of any legislative action, it is essential that the legislature have access to relevant information regarding the requests for waivers and the administration’s response.”
“We have requested these documents repeatedly and given the administration ample opportunities to provide clarity about their methods behind granting waivers to some employers and not others,” Senator Corman said. “Since they have chosen not to provide the information, this is the next logical step in the process of providing the oversight the founding fathers had in mind when they created three co-equal branches of government.”
On April 24, Senator Regan and Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee Chairman Tom Killion (R-9) sent letters to DCED and Governor Wolf requesting information. The deadline for a response was April 29.
Senators Regan and Killion also hosted a joint public hearing last week to address concerns raised about the Wolf Administration’s response to COVID-19. Employers and their representatives shared with the committees the impact the Governor’s closure of businesses has had on them and their counterparts throughout the Commonwealth.
Jenn Kocher – firstname.lastname@example.org (Corman)
Bruce McLanahan – email@example.com (Regan)