Apr. 14, 2020

HARRISBURG – Fighting for the Commonwealth’s small business owners and workers, Rep. Ryan Warner (R-Fayette/Westmoreland) today voted in support of Senate Bill 613, legislation designed to bring clarity and fairness to the process of reopening businesses while continuing to combat the spread of COVID-19. He issued the following statement:

“For nearly a month, many small businesses have been forced to remain closed and their employees forced to stay at home…often without a paycheck, since the state’s unemployment compensation system has been unable to keep up with the more than 1.3 million workers now filing for benefits. And that number will keep growing.

“Pennsylvanians are willing to do their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but we cannot live on lockdown forever. There is no magical money tree that’s going to pay for all the recovery programs; we have to start reopening our economy as soon as possible.

“This bill offers a solid first step toward getting us back on a path to normalcy by replacing the current, haphazard system for determining which businesses can and cannot operate with one based on federal guidelines used in the majority of other states. It will provide much-needed clarity and fairness for employers and their workers by allowing them to reopen their businesses if they can do so safely, based on standards offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“We all want to protect against the spread of COVID-19; it’s a real threat that has taken hundreds of lives and currently afflicts more than 25,000 Pennsylvanians. That’s why employers will only be able to reopen when they can prove their ability to meet CDC guidelines for mitigating the spread of the virus.”

Senate Bill 613 would require the governor to develop a plan for businesses that encompasses guidance for mitigating exposure to COVID-19 from the CDC and conforms to guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The plan would have to be posted publicly on the Department of Community and

Economic Development’s website within seven days, and any business that complies with requirements of the plan would be permitted to operate.

The measure now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

Representative Ryan Warner
52nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives