James Votes to Protect People’s Health and Finances Amid COVID-19
HARRISBURG – Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) joined a majority of his colleagues in voting for legislation that would require Gov. Tom Wolf to create a COVID-19 mitigation plan that would allow Pennsylvanians to return to work when it is safe to do so.

“Even though the 64th District has – luckily – been minimally impacted with few COVID-19 cases, thousands of local residents have lost their livelihoods as our area has been shut down to the same degree as Philadelphia, which is being considered a national coronavirus hotspot,” James said. “The governor called for statewide business closures that will have long-term consequences for families. However, we are governed by the people, not from a throne in Harrisburg.”

The bill would require the governor to develop and implement a mitigation plan to allow businesses to operate during the proclamation of disaster emergency issued on March 6, provided the business complies with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to limit the spread of COVID-19. Many of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states are taking this commonsense approach.

Because of the governor’s closure of so many Commonwealth businesses, the state is losing millions of dollars in sales of alcohol, furniture and vehicles to surrounding states. Alcohol sales are an important source of tax revenue that contributes to the state’s human services and education funding.

“Without the relaxation of Wolf’s mandated closures, Pennsylvanians who are currently sick will have to fight personal finances and an economy that are even more emaciated than necessary when they return to health,” James added. “My colleagues and I are working to limit the pain associated with the recovery that we’ll all face.”

Within seven days of the bill’s enactment, the governor must post the mitigation plan on the Department of Community and Economic Development’s website for public viewing.

As the legislation received support from the House, it now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Representative Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives