October 28, 2020

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PA. GOVERNOR VETOES school sports spectator bill

6 min read
AND WHAT’S NEXT? BRIAN SCHOOLS ARE CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS TUG-OF-WAR IN HARRISBURG....

AND WHAT’S NEXT? BRIAN SCHOOLS ARE CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS TUG-OF-WAR IN HARRISBURG. MOST ARE FOLLOWING THE CURRENT GUIDELINES THAT ARE IN EFFECT, BUT THAT COULD CHANGE IF THE LEGISLATURE OVERRID THE GOVERNOR’S PLAN VETO. I’M ALWAYS AMAZED AT POLITICIANS THINKING THAT THEY CA SOMEHOW WAVE A MAGIC WAND AND SUSPEND SORT OF REALITY GOVERNOR. TOM WOLF SAYS THE THREAT FROM CORONAVIRUS IS STILL HERE AND LARGE GATHERINGS INCLUDING THOSE AT SPORTING EVENTS POSE A HEALTH RISK, SO HE WANTS TO KEEP ATTENDANCE LIMITS AT 254 OUTDOOR. 725 FOR INSIDE EVENT VERY UNFORTUNATE THAT THE GOVERNOR DOESN’T TRUST OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS ACROSS PENNSYLVANIA TO MAKE DECISIONS. AND WHAT’S THE BEST INTEREST FOR THEIR COMMUNITY AND THE STATE HOUSE AND SENATE OVERWHELMINGLY PASSED A SPECTATORS BILL GIVING SCHOOL DISTRICTS THE AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE ATTENDANCE THEY CAN NOW VOTE TO OVERRIDE THE VETO THE PEOPLE STICK TO THEIR COMMITMENT TO THEIR LOCAL COMMUNITIES. WE WILL HAVE ENOUGH VOTES TO OVERRIDE IT. THEY DON’T AND THEY CHOOSE POLITICS INSIDE WITH HER GOVERNOR AS OPPOSED TO THEIR TO THEI CONSTITUENTS AND THEN WE WON’T AND SOME ATHLETIC DIRECTORS TELL ME THEY DO HAVE PLANS IN PLACE THAT THEY WOULD PUT BEFORE THE SUPERINTENDENT AND SCHOOL BOARD TO ALLOW MORE PEOPLE TO COME IN IF THAT OVERRIDE HAPPENS AND THE BILL BECOMES LAW AND OF COURSE THE WILSON SCHOOL DISTRICT HAD SAID ITS OWN ATTENDANCE LIMITS A LITTLE WHILE AGO LIVE

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vetoes school sports spectator bill

WGAL News 8 coronavirus coverage


Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a bill on Monday that would have allowed school districts to set spectator limits for school sports. However, leaders in Pennsylvania’s General Assembly say they have enough votes to override the governor’s veto.”School districts, you know, they’re going to do what they do, but there’s a virus out there and that virus really likes it when you bring a lot of people together. That’s what we know. And so, you ignore that at your peril. Yeah, you could ignore reality, but that reality really is that the virus is out to get us,” Wolf said.”It’s very unfortunate the governor doesn’t trust the school districts across Pennsylvania to make decisions on what’s the best interests for their community,” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre County) said.The state House and Senate had overwhelmingly passed the bill.”If people stick to their commitment to their local communities, we will have enough votes to override. If they don’t and they choose politics and side with their governor as opposed to their constituents, then we won’t,” Corman said.Latest legislative fight comes after federal rulingAfter a federal judge struck down the governor’s pandemic-related orders last week, the Wolf administration is asking for districts to voluntarily enforce the school sports spectator limits of 25 people indoors and 250 outdoors. The Wolf administration is also seeking a stay of the federal judge’s order while they appeal. Veto languageThe governor’s House Bill 2787 veto message is as follows:“We have been confronting extraordinary challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue the fight against COVID-19, we need to continue to prioritize the health and welfare of Pennsylvanians and minimize public health risks. However, this bill does nothing to promote public health or ensure that our children have a safe learning environment. As we reopen our schools, we need to continue to be vigilant and take precautions to keep ourselves, our communities, and our children healthy. These mitigation efforts not only help keep our children, teachers, and staff healthy, they also help keep our schools open.“This bill is entirely unnecessary. While I recommended against holding school sports before January 2021, it was a recommendation and neither an order nor a mandate. Local school governing bodies have maintained the authority to decide how extracurricular activities, including school sports, proceed at the local level. Furthermore, to the extent COVID-19 cases may rise and spread during the fall and through the upcoming cold and flu season, the Department of Health must maintain the critical authority to limit exposure to COVID-19. Minimizing this exposure is paramount.“This bill also has constitutional infirmities as it attempts to take away executive authority during the 2020-2021 school year. Instead of unnecessary legislation, we need to focus on providing schools the tools and resources they need to be successful in educating our children and we need to help people impacted by the pandemic with legislation such as funding for small businesses and child care, and paid sick leave for employees.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a bill on Monday that would have allowed school districts to set spectator limits for school sports. However, leaders in Pennsylvania’s General Assembly say they have enough votes to override the governor’s veto.

“School districts, you know, they’re going to do what they do, but there’s a virus out there and that virus really likes it when you bring a lot of people together. That’s what we know. And so, you ignore that at your peril. Yeah, you could ignore reality, but that reality really is that the virus is out to get us,” Wolf said.

“It’s very unfortunate the governor doesn’t trust the school districts across Pennsylvania to make decisions on what’s the best interests for their community,” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre County) said.

The state House and Senate had overwhelmingly passed the bill.

“If people stick to their commitment to their local communities, we will have enough votes to override. If they don’t and they choose politics and side with their governor as opposed to their constituents, then we won’t,” Corman said.

Latest legislative fight comes after federal ruling

After a federal judge struck down the governor’s pandemic-related orders last week, the Wolf administration is asking for districts to voluntarily enforce the school sports spectator limits of 25 people indoors and 250 outdoors.

The Wolf administration is also seeking a stay of the federal judge’s order while they appeal.

Veto language

The governor’s House Bill 2787 veto message is as follows:

“We have been confronting extraordinary challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue the fight against COVID-19, we need to continue to prioritize the health and welfare of Pennsylvanians and minimize public health risks. However, this bill does nothing to promote public health or ensure that our children have a safe learning environment. As we reopen our schools, we need to continue to be vigilant and take precautions to keep ourselves, our communities, and our children healthy. These mitigation efforts not only help keep our children, teachers, and staff healthy, they also help keep our schools open.

“This bill is entirely unnecessary. While I recommended against holding school sports before January 2021, it was a recommendation and neither an order nor a mandate. Local school governing bodies have maintained the authority to decide how extracurricular activities, including school sports, proceed at the local level. Furthermore, to the extent COVID-19 cases may rise and spread during the fall and through the upcoming cold and flu season, the Department of Health must maintain the critical authority to limit exposure to COVID-19. Minimizing this exposure is paramount.

“This bill also has constitutional infirmities as it attempts to take away executive authority during the 2020-2021 school year. Instead of unnecessary legislation, we need to focus on providing schools the tools and resources they need to be successful in educating our children and we need to help people impacted by the pandemic with legislation such as funding for small businesses and child care, and paid sick leave for employees.”

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