HARRISBURG – The Senate took an important step to continue its operations safely today by passing a resolution allowing members to vote remotely, according to Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York).
The temporary emergency rules included in Senate Resolution 318 will ensure the Senate can continue voting even when Senators cannot be physically present at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg due to coronavirus mitigation efforts that are ongoing statewide.
The resolution creates a mechanism for members to file bills electronically and to participate in committee meetings and session through the use of communications technology. The emergency powers are scheduled to expire July 31, 2020 or 10 days following the expiration of the governor’s emergency order, whichever is sooner.
“The Senate, the House and the governor are committed to working together to address this very real and serious health crisis that we have seen devastate other nations,” Phillips-Hill said. “With two cases confirmed today in York County, we need to protect those who are most at risk of severe consequences of contracting the coronavirus, which includes older Pennsylvanians and individuals with compromised immune systems. We also need to assist our small businesses, local employers as well as employees and their families.”
In order to ensure transparency, session was announced well in advance and streamed live for the public. You can watch today’s Senate session here.
Session was very brief and social distancing was strongly encouraged for members in accordance with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Phillips-Hill and her staff continue to respond to emails and phone calls left at her offices. The office remains closed to in-person meetings and visitors until further notice.
For more information on the coronavirus pandemic and any state and local news, local citizens are encouraged to follow Senator Phillips-Hill on Facebook (facebook.com/SenatorKristin) and on Twitter (@SenatorKristin).