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A05614
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE RESOLUTION
No.
867
Session of
2020
INTRODUCED BY CUTLER, MAY 12, 2020
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT, MAY 12, 2020
A RESOLUTION
Appointing a special committee to, in regard to the COVID-19
public health emergency, monitor and track the response of
the Commonwealth, identify issues, develop a recovery plan
and submit a report.
WHEREAS, A novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, entered the
United States in late January 2020 and has spread throughout the
states, including this Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, On March 6, 2020, the Governor declared a disaster
emergency, citing a threat of imminent disaster that is of such
a magnitude and severity as to necessitate extraordinary
measures to protect the health, safety and life of this
Commonwealth's citizens; and
WHEREAS, The impact of COVID-19, including all the necessary
measures taken to mitigate the spread of the disease, has
severely disrupted the Commonwealth and its subdivisions and is
producing both short-term and long-term negative economic as
well as personal consequences; and
WHEREAS, In order to effectively manage the current disaster,
all branches of the Commonwealth's government must work
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cooperatively to identify immediate and urgent issues, provide a
structure to catalog the Commonwealth's response to the disaster
emergency and create a forum to receive testimony, information
and recommendations from individuals, businesses and the health
care industry; and
WHEREAS, In addition to managing the existing public health
challenges of COVID-19, the Commonwealth will need a recovery
plan once the emergency subsides to address the innumerable
issues resulting from the disaster emergency, including the
impact to the economy; and
WHEREAS, The magnitude of the disaster necessitates
legislative oversight and participation, which may be
effectuated through the establishment of a special committee;
therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Speaker of the House of Representatives
appoint a special committee to do all of the following:
(1) Monitor and track the response by the Commonwealth
to the COVID-19 public health emergency, including all
actions taken under the authority of the declaration of
disaster emergency relating to the novel coronavirus known as
COVID-19.
(2) Identify issues of immediate public importance
relating to the COVID-19 public health emergency that require
executive, legislative or judicial action and make
recommendations to the proper branch in a timely fashion. The
committee shall report on such issues to the House of
Representatives not less than once per week.
(3) Develop and submit a recovery plan to the executive
branch, legislative branch and judicial branch of the
Commonwealth's government no later than October 15, 2020. The
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recovery plan shall include a documented, structured approach
that describes how the Commonwealth and its political
subdivisions can expeditiously resume mission-critical
functions, including the restoration of housing,
transportation, education and other public services and
economic activity to levels equal to or better than their
predisaster states through a series of short-term,
intermediate and long-term strategies and actions. The
recovery plan may be based in part or in whole on the Federal
Emergency Management Agency's resources for recovery planning
and managing recovery.
(4) Make a final report no later than November 25, 2020,
documenting all of the following:
(i) Actions taken by executive agencies under the
declaration of disaster emergency relating to the novel
coronavirus known as COVID-19.
(ii) Legislative enactments made in response to the
COVID-19 public health emergency.
(iii) Judicial orders made in response to the COVID-
19 public health emergency.
(iv) A summary of actions undertaken by local
governments in response to the COVID-19 public health
emergency;
and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Speaker of the House of Representatives
appoint four members and the Minority Leader of the House of
Representatives appoint three four members; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Speaker of the House of Representatives
appoint the chair and secretary of the committee; and be it
further
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RESOLVED, That the committee may hold hearings, take
testimony and make its investigations at the places the
committee deems necessary in this Commonwealth; and be it
further
RESOLVED, That the committee may issue subpoenas under the
hand and seal of its chair commanding any person to appear
before the committee and to answer questions touching matters
properly being inquired into by the committee and to produce
books, papers, records and documents as the committee deems
necessary; and be it further
RESOLVED, That subpoenas may be served upon any person and
have the same effect as subpoenas issued out of the courts of
this Commonwealth and that a person that willfully neglects or
refuses to testify before the committee or to produce books,
papers, records or documents be subject to the penalties
provided by the laws of this Commonwealth; and be it further
RESOLVED, That each member of the committee shall have the
power to administer oaths and affirmations to witnesses
appearing before the committee; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the committee report to the House of
Representatives on its activities, findings and recommendations
by November 19, 2020; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the expenses incurred by the committee in
carrying out its responsibilities, including per diem and travel
expenses incurred by members and regular staff, stenographic
charges and other incidental expenses be paid from appropriate
accounts under the control of the Chief Clerk and be in addition
to any other amount authorized for expenses for contractors,
consultants and staff; and be it further
RESOLVED, That, by November 25, 2020, the chair cause a
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record of all expenses incurred by the committee or its members
which are payable at Commonwealth expense to be filed with the
Chief Clerk.
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