HARRISBURG – State House Republicans are continuing to push back against the Democratic Governor’s business shutdown announcement, saying it is ill-prepared, added to the sense of chaos and will significantly hurt small businesses.
This statement followed local house member David Rowe’s (R-85th, Lewisburg) announcement recently that his legislative office would be staying open, and his private fitness business would stay open. He said the governor did not have authority to shutter businesses.
Local GOP lawmakers were divided on the issue, 27th District State Senator John Gordner (R-27th, Berwick), and Rep. Schlegel Culver (R-108th, Sunbury) said their offices would be closed, while Representatives Rowe and Masser said they were keeping their office open. You can see the GOP’s full statement at WKOK.com.
UPDATE: While we have received no additional info on legislative office closures, we did request an update from Rep. Rowe: There is no question that the governor has wildly overstepped with this mandate and he has compounded the problem by failing to communicate clearly in regards to the directive. The general assembly was notified less than five minutes before the governor issued his press release leaving legislators and staff scrambling to answer constituent’s questions while at the same time getting radio silence from the administration. My office is closed to walk ins but staff will still be answering phone calls and emails. We have a mail slot available for constituents to drop off paperwork for processing. We have also extended office hours to 8am-5pm to be as available as possible to our constituents during this difficult time. We closed the business after the urging from the President and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to avoid groups of 10 or more.
Statement from PA GOP House members:
HARRISBURG- House Republican Leadership issued the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s order to shut down all non-life-sustaining business in Pennsylvania:
“The Wolf Administration set off a panic tonight throughout the Comm
onwealth with its edict to shut down employers. The ill-prepared actions, announced after normal business hours, are not only an economic blow to every worker in the state right now but will have ramifications long into the future.
“Any announcement in an emergency event such as this calls for clear and efficient lines of communication, but the open-ended and short-noticed announcement today is the complete opposite and only adds to the sense of chaos many Pennsylvanians are struggling with tonight.
“These actions will shut down many small, family-owned shops and businesses, not only for the duration of this event, but possibly, and probably, forever.
“The sprawling and confusing list provided by the governor is provided with no explanation, and we will explore all avenues available to us to determine whether the action he’s taken is allowed within our state Constitution.
“It is incumbent upon all state leaders to recognize that long after we have defeated this public health threat, we must have the ability to create economic opportunities for all Pennsylvanians.
“Therefore, we are compelled to raise our voice on behalf of millions of hard-working Pennsylvanians who are already making enormous sacrifices in the face of this worldwide event, none of which was of their own choosing.”