The Pennsylvania House and Senate passed legislation that would allow businesses to re-open that adhere to federal guidelines for social distancing and other health and safety protocols. The bill would also bring the Commonwealth in line with many other states who follow these same guidelines. Unfortunately, Governor Wolf has said he intends to veto the bill when it reaches his desk. ABC Pennsylvania Board Chairs sent a letter to the governor asking him to reconsider his veto. Read the letter below:
April 16, 2020
The Honorable Tom Wolf
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Dear Gov. Wolf:
On behalf of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Pennsylvania (“ABC Pennsylvania”), we write to ask you to reconsider your intention to veto Senate Bill 613, Printer’s No. 1636.
Our collective chapters represent 1,400 employers and 67,000 employees, which include contractors, suppliers, and industry professionals within the commercial construction industry. We are in full agreement that public safety is paramount, and measures must be taken to mitigate any pressure on the health care system. When it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19, our members have been quick to incorporate additional guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because we are experienced in following many health and safety measures enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The waivers issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development require COVID-19 mitigation measures to be put in place. On April 15, Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, M.D., issued an order requiring essential businesses to follow certain social distancing, mitigation, and cleaning protocols. All businesses, not just essential businesses, should be provided the same courtesy if they are able to successfully implement COVID-19 safety protocols.
In order to assist businesses that need help and resources, ABC Pennsylvania created a COVID-19 Construction Safety Task Force to provide guidance, best practices, and standards for the construction industry both during and after the pandemic. Like you, our goal is to keep workers and the public safe. Our priority is always to the health and safety of our incredibly talented and skilled workers. Without them, we would not be a viable industry. We extend an open invitation to partner with you, the legislature, and industry partners on ways to implement strong, reasonable, and practical safety standards. We can accomplish this goal together.
We understand the tremendous challenge the coronavirus has placed on Pennsylvanians and the economy. We again ask you to reconsider your intention to veto Senate Bill 613. If you have any questions, please contact ABC Pennsylvania’s Director of Government Affairs, David Greineder, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (717) 951-5227.
ABC Legislative Office
800 North Third Street, Suite 407
Harrisburg, PA 17102
Tim Kessling Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. Board Chair, ABC Central Pennsylvania Chapter
Barbra Runyon Brechbill & Helman Construction Company, Inc. Board Chair, ABC Cumberland Valley Chapter
Tammi Talese KLOVER Contracting Inc. Board Chair, ABC Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter
Roger Brubaker Meadow Valley Electric Board Chair, ABC Keystone Chapter
Bob Pater Farmers National Bank of Emlenton Board Chair, ABC Western Pennsylvania Chapter
cc: All Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly