Harrisburg—Following Governor Wolf’s veto of liability assistance legislation, Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20) issued the following statement:
“Governor Wolf has again demonstrated either a lack of understanding or a lack of sympathy for the severe challenges that community groups, vital institutions, service providers, and employers face in operating during a worsening pandemic without a predictable end in sight.
“This measure did not offer any sort of protection for those who were grossly negligent or who acted in bad faith. Rather, it was aimed at helping those who tried to follow the confusing and ever changing state and federal guidelines regarding COVID and to ensure that struggling enterprises and facilities would not have their chances for survival washed out by a wave of lesser litigation.
“In signing his veto message, Governor Wolf was effectively putting out foreclosure notices for too many small businesses and their workers, on whom our economy recovery should be built.
“This discouraging action seems to look past the culpability of state government, through its failures of oversight or insufficiency in instructions for care providers and patients in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and veterans’ homes. The state is protected by sovereign immunity, which means that litigation costs and consequences are pushed onto private operators, to the detriment of services and jobs.
“As evidenced by Governor Wolf’s earlier veto of a telemedicine bill fervently sought by medical professionals and patients, he puts his political interests ahead of the widely held views and clearly expressed needs of the people in our communities from whom we hear from daily.”
Contact: Jennifer H. Wilson