State Government Committee Approves COVID-19 and Election Related Bills, Grove Says
9/28/2021
HARRISBURG – During a busy meeting on Monday, the House State Government Committee advanced several bills to address issues facing Pennsylvanians, Chairman Seth Grove (R-Dover) announced.

COVID-19-Related Legislation

House Bill 1218 would give the decision power as to whether children under 18 participating in sports should wear a mask to the organizations that run children’s sports programs.

House Bill 1893 would repeal Section 15 of the Disease Prevention and Control Act of 1955 and replaces it with a simple provision that all disease information under this Act is under the Right-to-Know Law.

Senate Bill 533 would prohibit the consideration or adoption of a proposed or final rulemaking subject to the Regulatory Review Act during the existence of a disaster emergency, unless the action is directly related to responding to the disaster emergency or adhering to a state or federal statutory timeline or court order.

Election-Related Legislation

House Bill 711 would require that all candidates for office and political action committees (PACs) in Pennsylvania use the Department of State’s online filing system to electronically file campaign finance reports.

House Bill 1118 would require a fiscal note be provide for all public debt questions put to the voters via ballot referendum.

House Bill 1596 is a joint resolution proposing separate and distinct constitutional amendments involving valid voter identification, election processes and voter registration requirements. The proposed separate and distinct constitutional amendments include:

• Modernize the PA Constitution to align with the U.S. Constitution, updating sections of Article VII that are in conflict with federal constitutional provisions.
• Enact voter ID and signature verification requirements that are broadly supported by a large majority of Pennsylvanians. Additionally, voter registration requirements would be strengthened, including requiring county administrators to confirm an applicant's eligibility prior to approving an application to register.
• Prohibit private financing of elections administration and require additional ballot security as well as public inspection of ballots after an election.
• Strengthen the uniformity requirements for election administration.
• Require robust and independent election audits, conducted by the Auditor General.
• Establish the Secretary of the Commonwealth as an elected position, as the chief elections officer is in the majority of states, to provide additional independence and professionalism to our elections process.

House Bill 1800, the reintroduced Voting Rights Protection Act, includes the original measures, such as enhanced voter identification requirements, an improved election timeline, requirements for mail-in ballot drop boxes and a requirement for audits. The new version also includes three bipartisan provisions to improve poll worker retention efforts, modernize polling location language and modernize the delivery of ballots and supplies to judges of elections; as well as an appropriation of $3.1 million to operate the Bureau of Election Audits.

House Bill 706 (Minority Leader Joanna McClinton) would count prisoners in correctional facilities at their last known residence before incarceration for the purpose of drawing legislative district lines. It was amended to also include college students residing in congregate student housing, as well as inmates confined to county or municipal correctional facilities. The bill was reported out of committee with a negative recommendation. Reporting a bill out of committee without recommendation is neither an endorsement of the bill, nor a condemnation.

Representative Seth Grove
196th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Greg Gross
717.260.6374
ggross@pahousegop.com
RepGrove.com / Facebook.com/RepSethGrove