Legislative Update: Veto of H.B. 1737

We are extremely disappointed by Governor Wolf’s veto  of H.B. 1737 which was amended to include comprehensive, temporary, pandemic-related liability protections. Legislation to provide temporary relief by expanding liability provisions to protect businesses acting in good faith during these unprecedented times while following the guidelines outlined by the CDC, OSHA, and Commonwealth authorities has been a priority for our Chamber and many others state and nationwide.

“This veto will likely bring unprecedented additional costs to the business and healthcare communities.  His veto will likely expose healthcare organizations, day cares, small businesses providing services, grocery stores, manufacturers of PPE and thousands of businesses across our region and Commonwealth to potential unwarranted legal action and costs.  The business and health care communities have provided care, food, support services and supplies necessary for Pennsylvanian’s to work throughout this pandemic.  As noted this bill provided temporary relief for those businesses complying with health guidelines.  The Governor’s action has made the months ahead even more challenging for healthcare, businesses and the people of Pennsylvania,” said David Black, Harrisburg Regional Chamber President.

We were proud to stand with the members of the General Assembly who supported this legislation, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry, 150 statewide associations and local Chambers statewide to push Governor Wolf to protect the Commonwealth’s healthcare and business community and those Pennsylvanian’s they serve. Read the letter sent to Governor Wolf here and the Pennsylvania Chamber’s statement here.

Gene Barr, President of the PA Chamber noted in a PA Chamber press release– “Businesses across the Commonwealth struggling to simply survive were dealt yet another blow today as Governor Wolf vetoed critical liability protections; and instead backed opportunistic trial lawyers anxious to profit from this crisis. This threat is not hypothetical, Pennsylvania employers are already being targeted with unwarranted lawsuits – a number which is expected to increase in the months and years ahead given the large sums of advertising the trial bar is dedicating to the effort, along with the fact that there is a two year window to file such suits.”

The Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC has continuously advocated for our members, temporary liability protections and economic recovery. This veto was disheartening and hinders all sectors of business.