I can assure PBA membership that the efforts being put forth by PBA Staff and me has been tireless since the beginning of the shutdown on 3/19. GA leadership and staff have been working behind the scenes to try to push the legislative pathways to allow residential construction to open back up. The legislative fighting between the parties continues to be the greatest obstacle for now and I believe we are close to bipartisan support on at least one of the efforts. Remember that despite all of our efforts, the Governor will have the final say on reopening construction. Thus far, he and Secretary Levine have been adamantly opposed to opening up any businesses that were not listed as Life-Sustaining on his current spreadsheet. We hope that support for the legislature will ease this decision.
We are continuing to pursue direct lines of communications to the Governor’s office as well as Secretary Levine. These efforts included direct conversations with ICC which wrote letters to all the other states with some shutdowns on construction, other than PA. I contacted them directly and convinced them to write to Governor Wolf. After discussions, ICC wrote to the Governor and DCED to request the reinstatement of the waiver process specifically for residential construction.
There is no magic wand and no fairy dust. Hard fought grass root efforts and continued attempts to inject common sense into this injustice is our way. Our customers and our businesses are the partnership needed to enact change. I highly encourage real life stories to be told to the legislators and the Governor in our appeal. Getting our customers into their permanent shelter is our priority. PBA will continue to support our membership through these channels until relief is granted.
Stay safe and healthy.