HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed two bills into law Friday, including one that extends “the most critical components” of the COVID-19 disaster emergency. The day before, the state Senate joined the House in voting to terminate the declaration.
Gov. Wolf signed House Bill 854, sponsored by Republican Torren Ecker. That bill provides for the retention of emergency declaration records and extends the suspension of specific regulations “found to be beneficial to businesses and residents.”
According to Ecker, the bill will allow the state’s business community to “gradually enter the post-COVID-19 world by not abruptly ending new policies such as allowing for restaurants and bars to offer cocktails to-go and improved access to medical treatment through telemedicine,” Ecker said.
He said the bill “responsibly extends those directives.”
Gov. Wolf, in a statement following the signing, said his administration “has worked hard to educate and inform the General Assembly of the importance of the temporary rule suspensions associated with the COVID-19 disaster declaration.”
He noted, “I appreciate the General Assembly’s adoption of my administration’s recommendations on the significance of keeping the important regulatory suspensions associated with COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration provisions in place for a few more months.”
Gov. Wolf also signed the Family Caregiver Support Program.
House Bill 464 amends the Family Caregiver Support Act to reflect current federal eligibility standards, remove provisions that limit available support for home modifications and assistive devices and prohibit primary caregivers from receiving benefits if they are a perpetrator in a substantiated case of abuse.
“Caregivers deserve to know that they have the proper supports in place to be able to provide the best care possible for their loved one and this legislation will provide important protections and assistance to caregivers,” Gov. Wolf said.
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