(HARRISBURG) – Senator Ryan Aument (R-Landisville) is urging his colleagues to pass new legislation that would establish a bipartisan, inter-branch COVID-19 Cost & Recovery Task Force to evaluate Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 response and develop a recovery plan to restore and rebuild the Commonwealth. According to Aument, the task force will bring together members from the Governor’s Administration, the Legislature, and the judicial system to:
- Cooperatively and expeditiously identify urgent issues,
- Provide a structure to catalog the Commonwealth’s response to the pandemic to evaluate and learn from it, and
- Create a forum to receive testimony, information, and recommendations from individuals, small businesses, and industry on how they think Pennsylvanians can all move forward together.
“We must begin planning now to roll back the current restrictions and get folks back to work in a way that will not jeopardize public health,” said Aument. “This is not a criticism of Governor Wolf’s actions, but rather an acknowledgement that now is the time to plan if we are to effectively bring our economy back online so that all Pennsylvanians can once again have the opportunity to experience earned success and upward economic mobility.”
The language establishing the task force was amended into Senate Bill 327 in the House Appropriation Committee. If signed into law, the task force will develop a recovery plan that will couple short-term actions with long-term strategies, including proposals to restore education, housing, transportation, and business activity to pre-disaster levels.
“Now is not the time for partisanship. Now more than ever, we need cooperation and coordination. We cannot continue the current strategy of putting out fires as they arise – we need to put ourselves in a position to get ahead of this, and the most efficient way to do that is to coordinate across all three branches of government to ensure a united response and rapid implementation of solutions. This task force will assemble top officials from every relevant field so that we can move in lockstep to show Pennsylvanians exactly how we will recover and rebuild this great Commonwealth,” said Aument.
Duties of the task force will include tracking and evaluating the Commonwealth’s response to the pandemic, identifying immediate issues and submitting recommendations to the appropriate branch of government in a timely fashion, developing a recovery plan for the Commonwealth, and issuing a final report.
“The bottom line is that we need to clearly identify a path forward that will not sacrifice public health for economic prosperity or vice versa, because we need both to build a stronger Pennsylvania. The interbranch COVID-19 Cost & Recovery Task Force will lay out this path for Pennsylvanians, and as such, I strongly urge my colleagues in the Pennsylvania House and Senate to support this approach, and I urge the Governor to sign it should the legislation reach his desk,” said Aument.
Members of the COVID-19 Cost & Recovery Task Force will be able to participate in the required weekly meetings via teleconferencing in an effort to appropriately practice social distancing and slow the spread of COVID-19.
CONTACT: Ryan Boop (717) 787-4420