Apr. 29, 2020

HARRISBURG - State Rep. Jim Rigby (R-Johnstown) knew there had to be another way to give Pennsylvania businesses a choice of whether or not to reopen following Gov. Tom Wolf’s vetoed Senate Bill 613.

“The veto was definitely a disappointment to me and the many consumers and businesses who reached out to me and my staff,” Rigby said. “That simply meant going back to the drawing board and retooling our effort.”

Rigby and his colleagues broke the bill down into individual pieces of legislation, forcing the governor to rethink some things.

“I co-sponsored and voted for legislation (House Bill 2400) that gave construction crews the choice to go back to work safely and responsibly. The governor quickly pivoted and said a few days later all forms of construction could resume this Friday,” added Rigby. “A bill to reopen golf courses was introduced - I also sent him a letter asking him to reconsider - and suddenly there was a need to react and let golfers tee it up again.

“Then he goes back on his plan to reopen the state regionally after a number of us disputed his grouping the counties we represent in regions where COVID-19 statistics differ greatly. The quote ‘A man may do an immense deal of good, if he does not care who gets the credit for it,” is one I wholeheartedly endorse.

After co-sponsoring legislation that would allow other small businessmen and women the chance to return to work, Rigby wonders who’s next.

“I’ve co-sponsored and voted for everything from bills that support realtors, car dealers and emergency responders to legislation that allow dog groomers, lawn and garden centers, and messenger services to resume operations. While these businesses should never have automatically been shuttered across the board, I’m hoping the legislation we’re moving will continue to force the governor’s hand. After all, we’re supposed to be all in this together!