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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2020 08:57 AM
From: Senator Anthony H. Williams and Sen. Katie J. Muth
To: All Senate members
Subject: Enforcement of Masking Orders in Public Buildings
In the near future, we will be introducing legislation to combat the resurgence of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania by ensuring that essential government employees are provided a safe workplace environment.
On July 1, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed an order requiring the use of face coverings in all indoor spaces in which the public is generally permitted. Unfortunately, many people have chosen to ignore this directive, taking advantage of provisions of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act mean to protect legitimately disabled people from discrimination. In choosing their own comfort over public health, people who do not wear masks and fail to follow other basic guidelines in pubic have directly contributed to an alarming increase in the spread of this deadly disease. We must act now to protect essential workers vital to the operation of government just as the Governor has announced greater enforcement of universal masking orders for businesses.
This legislation would enshrine Dr. Levine’s and the Governor’s orders into law for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, requiring strict enforcement of mask wearing in all public buildings in the Commonwealth, including all areas within the Capitol building complex.  Local law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over the property, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police, would be tasked with enforcement, ensuring that masks are worn at all times by all people including legislators, staff and public officials. Those who fail to comply with this lifesaving requirement following a reasonable warning will be required to leave the premises until they comply with the law and subject to a fine.
Please join us in co-sponsoring this vital legislation that will save lives and protect the workers and staff in our government buildings.