HARRISBURG – Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) issued the following statement today in reaction to the Wolf Administration’s school masking mandate:
“Protecting the health and safety of our children is always a top consideration for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. However, this is exactly the kind of government overreach voters opposed when they stripped Governor Wolf of the authority to unilaterally extend emergency declarations in May.
“Throughout the summer, Governor Wolf and Acting Health Secretary Beam were adamant about allowing these decisions to be made at the local level based on the best available data. It is completely disingenuous for him to flip-flop now when he didn’t like the choices school districts made.
“The timing of this announcement is also extremely problematic. Over the past month, school board meetings were turned into public spectacles with school board directors, parents, teachers and community members lobbing insults and accusations. It is disappointing Governor Wolf stood idly by and allowed our communities to be torn apart by this debate, only to pull the rug out from everyone at the last minute. Our school boards deserve an apology for the governor’s dereliction of duty.
“Our position throughout the pandemic has been consistent – we believe in local control. School districts are best suited to make the decisions regarding the health and safety of students, and they should be empowered to make those choices. Pennsylvanians have clearly had enough of Governor Wolf’s damaging mandates and one-size-fits-all approaches to complex problems.
“Moreover, the Acting Secretary of Health does not have the authority to even implement or enforce mitigation measures on healthy Pennsylvanians. If Governor Wolf truly believed he had this authority, then he would not have asked the General Assembly to implement a mask mandate just last week.”
CONTACT: Jason Thompson