Reps. Jonathan Fritz (Susquehanna/Wayne), Tina Pickett (Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) and Sens. Lisa Baker and Gene Yaw voiced their serious concern and extreme disappointment after learning Susquehanna County was not among the next group of counties that would move into the “yellow phase” of Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening plan on May 15. The 13 counties listed in the governor’s announcement this afternoon are all located in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The three legislators issued the following statements regarding the governor’s decision to extend Susquehanna County’s stay-at-home order until June 4:
“Our residents are in dire straits with most being out of work or having to close their business,” said Fritz (above). “To say I am upset with the governor’s decision to extend his order in our rural region is an understatement! The data is not there to warrant ongoing hardship. Pennsylvanians’ financial losses are severe and continue to mount. We need to get back to work now.”
“The governor’s decision to exclude Susquehanna County is unjustifiable and no longer based on any apparent or reasonable facts,” Pickett (above) said. “He has offered us no data on why the county should remain shut down. He is refusing to communicate with his citizens on this decision – one that is so critical to the livelihoods of their families. We believe Susquehanna County should join some of its neighbors and move into the yellow phase safely and with good planning, in order to restart our local economy and put people back to work.”
“From closing state institutions to resisting all our compelling arguments to allow for gradual reopening of the local economy, the Wolf administration has again proved blind to the problems of rural communities and deaf to our concerns and advocacy, said Baker (above). “The negative state actions toward our situation continue to strike area residents as arbitrary and illogical. There is no solution but to keep the pressure on, and we will pursue every possible avenue.”
“It is clear that facts mean nothing to this administration by its failure to open Susquehanna County,” Sen. Gene Yaw (above) said.
This meme posted on Facebook after Gov. Wolf’s Friday press conference is indicative of the sentiments of many Susquehanna County residents and business owners.