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06/23/2021 04:56 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=34452
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 28, 2021 02:08 PM
From: Representative David R. Millard
To: All House members
Subject: Restricting the Governor's Disaster Emergency Power to Shut Down Lawful Outdoor Recreational Activities
 
I intend to introduce legislation that would restrict the governor’s disaster emergency power to shut down lawful outdoor recreational activities.
 
During last spring’s emergency shutdowns the governor greatly misused his authority to pick and choose which outdoor activities were allowed and which weren’t.  For example, amusement parks could open but he essentially canceled the more than 100 county fairs that were to take place last year, by not providing reasonable guidelines or even working with organizers on the health and safety practices that they were ready and willing to implement.  This failure to lead has negatively impacted our economy as well as hurting those benevolent organizations that support essential needs in their communities through fundraising activities.
 
My legislation amends the governor’s emergency powers by prohibiting the state and municipalities from restricting or limiting outdoor events and activities such as fairs, carnivals, parks, religious worship, family get-togethers and public festivals.  Keep in mind that this in no way stops or discourages the use of safe practices to limit the spread of disease.  Businesses and organizers will continue to prioritize health and safety—you don’t get repeat customers if they become ill, and you can’t attract them in the first place if they don’t feel safe. 
 
Not one entity wants to violate the law; all want to abide by the guidelines, and since the administration has been derelict in offering guidance, I intend to do so through this legislation.  I don’t think that venues should have to seek permission from the administration to have an event.  This looks like another waiver program where there will be winners and losers.
 
Please join me in sponsoring this legislation.
 



Introduced as HB594