Mastriano Introduces Measure to Update Emergency Declaration Process

HARRISBURG –State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) recently introduced a measure that would change the way emergency declarations are re-authorized in Pennsylvania.

As part of Senate Bill 1160, the General Assembly would have the ability to re-authorize an emergency declaration every 10 days.

Currently, emergency declarations – such as the COVID 19 pandemic – last for 90 days, and the Governor has the sole authority to extend it.

“We need to restore checks and balances in our government,” said Mastriano. “The health crisis has been a learning experience for every component of state government, and one issue is abundantly clear – there needs to be more communication between the executive branch and the legislative branch.”

“Unfortunately, there has been very little direct consultation between the Governor and the General Assembly, resulting in lack of clarity for Pennsylvanians,” added Mastriano. “We need to do better, because right now, the situation is unacceptable.”

Mastriano is partnering with Senator David Argall in introducing the legislation.

The measure would require the General Assembly to reconsider an emergency declaration every 10 days. A majority vote by the House and Senate would re-authorize it; while a negative vote would rescind one.

By taking no action during a 10-day period, the emergency declaration would end via default.

Senate Bill 1160 is currently assigned to the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

CONTACT:   Scot Andrew Pitzer;

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