Mar. 27, 2020

BELLE VERNON– Rep. Bud Cook (R-Washington/Fayette) announced today that he is calling on Gov. Tom Wolf to act on two critical issues: first, the release of a comprehensive list of business entities that have applied for, received or have been denied a wavier classifying them as either a life-sustaining or non-life-sustaining business; and second, lifting the ban on construction work in the Commonwealth.

“I am calling Gov. Wolf to publicly release the list of businesses that have applied for, received or been denied a wavier that classifies them as ‘life-sustaining’ or ‘non-life-sustaining,’” said Cook. “My office is fielding calls from constituents regarding the denial of waivers. My constituents deserve an answer as to why their businesses were denied waivers while similar businesses were granted waivers.”

Additionally, Cook is calling on the governor to lift his ban on construction work in the Commonwealth, as unfinished projects can pose risks to public health and safety. The governor deemed the construction industry “non-essential” and, with all other non-essential businesses in the state, banned workers who can’t perform their jobs at home from reporting to work. This measure was done to encourage the social distancing Wolf and his administration are saying is necessary to preserve public health in light of COVID-19. “I am also calling on Gov. Wolf to let our construction crews get back to work,” Cook said. “Projects that sit unfinished will likely end up being ruined. While it is important to prevent the spread of COVID-19, construction jobs are mainly open-air and are at low risk of spreading the virus. Tasks that involve more person to person contact can be alternate to coincide with CDC guidelines to ensure our workers stay safe and healthy. Additionally, many working families and small businesses are going without much-needed income. This is unacceptable. Our workers deserve better.” Cook stands with his colleagues to implore the governor to allow firms to perform essential functions relating to partially built homes, other construction projects and neighborhoods.

Essential functions include:

· Weathering-in all home components by completing the installation of exterior framing, roofs, siding, windows and doors.

· Completing the installation of any utilities where trenches or other site infrastructure are open or otherwise exposed.

· Completing any earthmoving activities necessary to stabilize construction sites and prevent soil erosion and damage from stormwater.

· Secure equipment and materials from theft, fire or deterioration.

· Taking any other steps necessary to secure sites under active construction to mitigate the risk of injury, looting or environmental contamination.

Representative Bud Cook
49th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives