HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The governor’s office says he is planning to veto a bill that would allow schools to make decisions regarding sports and other extracurricular activities this school year — and their attendees.
House Bill 2787 would grant the governing authority of a school entity or nonpublic school with exclusive authority to determine whether to hold school sports and extracurricular activities in-person during the 2020-21 school year.
School officials would be responsible for:
- Establishing safety protocols for permitting visitors and spectators to attend sports and in-person extracurricular activities
- Limits on gatherings for indoor and outdoor sports and in-person extracurricular activities to ensure social distancing
- Protocols for sports consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Considerations for Youth Sports
- Methods of ensuring that social distancing and other safety measures are in place for students, staff, and spectators.
The governor’s office says Wolf is planning to veto the bill. In a statement, his office said:
The governor plans to veto the bill. The bill is unnecessary given that school districts already have local control on decisions on school sports. Further the virus is not stopping and spreads more easily when people are in close proximity with one another. This bill would allow for the potential gathering of thousands in close proximity, a widely-reported, well-known public health risk. We should focus on preventing the spread and creating a safe environment for children students back to learning and, if possible, in the classroom. Minimizing exposure to COVID-19 is paramount.
Instead of passing unnecessary legislation like this, the Republican legislative majority should do things to help people impacted by the pandemic like funding for small businesses, child care funding, and paid sick leave for employees. The governor outlined a comprehensive plan to provide relief for workers and families, support for businesses, and reform for government. The legislature should stop wasting time and pass the governor’s plan to help Pennsylvanians.
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