HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) announced Wednesday that Senate Bill 618
, legislation restoring freedom to Pennsylvanians by clarifying the Secretary of Health’s authority under the Disease Prevention and Control Law, passed the House by a vote of 112-89.
“Over the course of the last 16 months, there has been an expansive view of the powers in the Disease Prevention and Control Law that courts have said is in violation of the Constitution and we believe is contrary to the law’s intent and its plain language,” Benninghoff said. “Among the other good provisions in this bill, Senate Bill 618 would clarify the language of the Disease Prevention and Control Law to ensure an unelected bureaucrat—the secretary of Health—cannot upend the lives of Pennsylvanians who are well.”
Benninghoff noted that when Pennsylvanians adopted two new constitutional amendments limiting a governor’s unilateral authority during emergency disaster declarations, they showed they were tired of one person having total control over their lives.
“This bill restores the constitutional balance of power by taking away authority inappropriately exercised by the secretary of Health, clarifies the law’s correct language, and restores more liberty to the people of Pennsylvania,” he added. “It is a logical extension of the action we took a few weeks ago to end the COVID-19 disaster declaration, and reins in the ability of one person to have unilateral control over Pennsylvanians.”
Representative Kerry Benninghoff
Pennsylvania House Majority Leader
171st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives