In This Update:
Update on 2020 Election Issues
My offices are continuing to receive an extraordinary number of calls and emails regarding the 2020 election. I understand many of the frustrations and certainly share many of the concerns about the way this election was handled. The Department of State and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court removed the most critical protections that we put in place to ensure the integrity of the vote, and they are solely responsible for the mess we find ourselves in today, in which a significant number of citizens have lost faith in the integrity of our elections. It is our responsibility as lawmakers to clean up the mess they created through all legal means possible.
I recently wrote an op-ed that details the reasons why lawmakers are prohibited by the constitution from changing the slate of electors, as some have suggested. It is not a matter of will or backbone; it is simply not possible under the constitution. The constitution is clear that lawmakers cannot change any law pertaining to an election after that election has been held. Even if this provision of the law did not exist, lawmakers could not even convene in session right now until all members are sworn into office in January.
The way these concerns are remedied is through the courts, not the legislature. I wholeheartedly support the right of President Trump and any other candidate to present evidence through the courts – up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court – to correct any part of the voting process that could have been tainted by fraud.
Going forward, we need to fix Pennsylvania’s mail-in voting system since it has been corrupted by the Wolf Administration and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. There is no room for partisanship in conducting fair elections – period. We need to create a law that is bulletproof so we can encourage all voters to participate in the democratic process without facing the prospect of an election that is vulnerable to fraud. That is the General Assembly’s job, and it will be my highest priority when we return to session next month.
Legislative Leaders Announce Plans to Address Election Concerns
In response to the distrust that grew out of the 2020 general election, Senate and House Republican leaders announced plans this week to restore confidence in the state’s election system and begin the process of making meaningful reforms.
In a statement, legislative leaders said the General Assembly will use its statutory power to review the most pressing issues lawmakers found over the last three weeks of investigation. The issues under review include election security and the manner in which votes are counted, the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s management of the 2020 General Election, and the impact of the Judiciary on the 2020 General Election and subsequent candidate legal challenges.
Governor Rejects New Protections for Schools, Businesses, Health Care Providers
As businesses, schools and health care providers continue to struggle from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these organizations face a new threat in the form of frivolous lawsuits related to the virus. The financial consequences of these lawsuits could push businesses to the brink of bankruptcy and cost taxpayers exorbitant sums of money to fight civil actions against schools.
Lawmakers approved a bill recently that would have protected these groups against lawsuits when they acted in good faith and followed the directives of the CDC and the Department of Health. Unfortunately, the governor vetoed the legislation this week, leaving these organizations vulnerable to financial ruin – even when they followed every piece of guidance and every rule put in place by the Wolf Administration.
Legislative Update: 25 Bills Signed into Law
A total of 25 bills approved by lawmakers during the final week of the 2019-20 Legislative Session were signed into law recently, including measures that will:
Details on many of these bills are available at pasenategop.com.
PennDOT Encourages Students to Explore Transportation Funding Challenges
PennDOT’s annual Innovations Challenge program invites students in 9th through 12th grades to explore solutions to real-world transportation problems. This year’s contest encourages students to submit their ideas on how to provide stable and sufficient funding to support critical transportation upgrades.
The deadline to submit an entry is December 18.
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