The Wolf Administration has set a deadline of 5 p.m. Friday, April 3, for Pennsylvania businesses to apply for a waiver from the governor’s closure order.
Gov. Wolf ordered all businesses not deemed life-sustaining to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m. on March 19 to slow the spread of COVID-19. My Senate colleagues and I have urged Governor Wolf to be more open and transparent about the decision-making process on these waivers.
Senate Leaders Urge Governor to Classify Residential Construction as “Essential”
Governor Wolf’s order to close all non-essential businesses two weeks ago idled numerous construction projects throughout the state. Senate leaders wrote a letter to Governor Wolf this week encouraging him to reclassify residential construction activities as an essential business and allow these projects to resume – as long as social distancing protocols are followed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently classified residential construction as an essential business. Pennsylvania is the only state to shut down all active public and private construction sites as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. New Jersey, California, Illinois and New York have issued shelter-in-place orders, but provide an exemption for construction personnel and construction activities.
The letter from Senate leaders is available here. Several lawmakers have also announced plans to introduce a bill to allow construction activities to resume with the proper protections in place to protect workers. More information on that bill is available here.