Senator Judy Ward Amendment Prohibits the Secretary of Health from Unilaterally Limiting Pennsylvanians

(HARRISBURG) – An amendment by Senator Judy Ward (R-30) would prohibit the state Secretary of Health from unilaterally using laws such as the Disease Prevention and Control Act to limit Pennsylvanians.

“Public health and safety are critically important, and these kinds of decisions should not be made in a vacuum by someone who was not elected by the people,” Senator Ward said. “We must work together to develop policies that protect lives and livelihoods. The Disease Prevention and Control Act has been used as a nearly absolute power to take any action they want – regardless of the opinion of state lawmakers, local and county officials or the public.”

Senator Ward’s amendment prohibits the Secretary of Health from mandating those who have not been exposed or in close contact with the exposed to wear a mask, stay at home or be socially distant. It also prevents the Secretary from using the same laws as a way to force business closures.

“Nothing in this amendment prevents the Secretary from being able to protect the health and well-being of Pennsylvanians,” Senator Ward said. “Rather, the amendment simply prevents one person from unilaterally throwing tens of thousands of citizens out of work, barring children from school, and spending millions of taxpayer dollars.”

The amendment was added to Senate Bill 618 that would prohibit the state, as well as counties, municipalities, school districts and colleges that are subsidized by state taxpayers from requiring proof of vaccination.

The bill could receive final consideration by the full Senate as early as tomorrow.

CONTACT: Cheryl Schriner