Mar. 26, 2020

HARRISBURG – After hearing from local business owners, construction workers and others, members of the House of Representatives from York, Adams and Cumberland counties joined together to urge Gov. Tom Wolf to allow construction projects to be completed and to allow workers to return to job sites. Previously, Wolf included construction on the list of “non-essential” businesses, which put a halt to construction projects in Pennsylvania. In response, the members, who are House Appropriations Chair Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion) and Reps. Torren Ecker (R-Abbottstown), Dawn Keefer (R-Dillsburg), Kate Klunk (R-Hanover), Dan Moul (R-Gettysburg), Seth Grove (R-Dover), Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam) Barb Gleim (R-Carlisle), Greg Rothman (R-Camp Hill) and Mike Jones (R-York Township) issued the following statement:

“We understand the need to take measures to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect all Pennsylvanians. We also recognize the tough decisions the governor has had to make during this crisis.

“However, we believe the governor is wrong to shut down all construction in Pennsylvania. Though the administration’s list of businesses permitted to operate is supposed to be based on guidelines from the federal government, he failed to follow its recommendation to allow construction to continue, similar to our bordering states.

“Since the governor issued his sudden and confusing order to close numerous businesses, homes that were under construction are left to deteriorate in the elements, causing environmental harm, as well as costing businesses and would-be homeowners thousands of dollars. Though emergency repairs are permitted as part of the governor’s list, he has been unclear if that means workers can shore up homes to protect materials.

“Unfinished homes and other buildings also pose safety risks to those, particularly children, who would venture onto sites. In addition, roadwork projects ceased even though the drastically reduced amount of traffic provides an opportune time for the projects to move forward.

“We believe construction can continue when workers follow social distancing practices. At most construction sites, workers aren’t often near their colleagues, but rather work solitarily, or in very small groups. In fact, there are most likely fewer people on the average home construction site at any given time than there are shoppers at a typical grocery store.

“That is why we ask the governor to allow the more than 250,000 Pennsylvania construction workers to incorporate safety protocols and to get back to work.”

Pennsylvania House Republicans
Media Contact: Greg Gross