Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) is asking the Wolf administration to support the General Assembly’s plan to help the Commonwealth recover from the economic strain of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, publicly criticized legislation passed in the House this week to establish an economic recovery plan. In a letter to the General Assembly she said to do so now would be “reckless and irresponsible.”
Ryan strongly disagrees.
In a letter to Levine today
, Ryan praised the administration’s work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 but cautioned that its broad-brush approach to closing businesses will cause lasting harm to the working families of Pennsylvania and the state’s overall economy. He said the Commonwealth must establish a cohesive strategy now to ensure its citizens and the businesses that employ them can recover. He said it is possible to do this while continuing to protect public health and safety.
“As a former Marine commander in the civil affairs corps, it was often my duty to find measured solutions to difficult problems,” said Ryan. “I believe such an approach is necessary today and provides our best hope of reclaiming the lives we had before this pandemic hit.
“The many businesses deemed by the administration to be non-essential or not life-sustaining and the hundreds of thousands of people they employed, would find it neither reckless nor irresponsible to permit more of our small businesses to reopen with proper safety and sanitary protocols. Most would be happy to do whatever it takes.
“Our legislation would establish a COVID-19 Cost and Recovery Task Force to identify pressing issues and develop a recovery plan aimed at restoring housing, transportation, education, public services and economic activity to levels equal to or better than their pre-disaster status. The legislation would also aim to restructure state debt. Pennsylvania families are also facing mounting debt and they are counting on us to get them back to work. We must prepare now to start rebuilding our economy.
“As a CPA with a background in corporate restructuring, I have been a leading advocate in the General Assembly for economic reform. Over the past several years, I have warned about the need to get Pennsylvania’s pension systems and overall financial house in order while the economy was good and that a recession would make it far more difficult and painful to do so. Our failure to act now will cause untenable economic realities for Pennsylvania citizens. We simply cannot delay. Please work with us to save our small businesses and put working Pennsylvanians back to work.”
Representative Frank Ryan
101st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Donna Pinkham