HARRISBURG – Senator Judy Ward (R-30) issued the following statement today in reaction to Governor Wolf’s veto of commonsense legislation that would have eliminated discrepancies and improved transparency and reporting of COVID-19 deaths:
“It is extremely frustrating that Governor Wolf has vetoed yet another bill that would have required his Administration to give Pennsylvanians the transparent state government they deserve. It should not be even remotely controversial to ensure coroners can meet their responsibilities under the law to investigate deaths within their jurisdiction. The fact that he waited until Election Day to announce his veto in order to bury the news under an avalanche of election returns is equally disturbing.
“Coroners throughout the state have voiced their concerns about the Department of Health’s reporting issues and have thrown their support behind this bill. Instead of working with them and listening to their advice on how to improve COVID-19 reporting, the governor has saddled us with a system that leaves the impression that the Department of Health has something to hide.
“The governor’s veto message claimed that my bill would have delayed reporting and jeopardized public health and safety. This idea is completely absurd; in fact, it would do the exact opposite of what the governor claims. Instead of having multiple sets of conflicting numbers, the bill would have provided a significant level of transparency and cooperation without placing any significant new burdens on any health care provider or any level of government.
“Governor Wolf has been criticized throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for refusing to give the public access to basic information about how their government operates. He had a chance with this bill to show that he is willing to work with local officials to at least ensure local public health information is accurate. It is disappointing that he once again failed the people of Pennsylvania and proved that the only opinion he cares about is his own.”
CONTACT: Cheryl Schriner (717) 787-5490