HARRISBURG – State Rep. Ann Flood (R-Northampton) on Tuesday visited a local car dealership before traveling to a local restaurant to participate in a roundtable discussion with members of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce (GLVCC), all in an effort to highlight the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on local businesses and families.
“There are hard-working people in our area who were denied the opportunity to provide for their families during various stages of this pandemic,” Flood said. “Some of the effects of the pandemic were unavoidable, but some of the policy choices implemented to react to COVID-19 made the situation worse for local businesses and families.”
Flood was joined by Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia), who serves in an esteemed leadership position within the House as the majority caucus secretary, and Rep. Marilou Mackenzie (R-Northampton/Lehigh/Montgomery).
Flood and the other legislators first visited Dotta Chrysler Jeep located at 1300 Blue Valley Drive in Pen Argyl. Flood met with Executive Director Anita Dotta, Head of Sales Chris Walters and Head Mechanic Ted Ashenfalder.
“We saw the ways the Dotta Chrysler Jeep team is committed to providing car buyers with a safe and enjoyable car-purchasing experience while also protecting the health and safety of their workers,” Flood said. “The heavy-handed policies enacted by the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf made it very difficult for car dealers to operate during the pandemic, despite their commitment to protecting the health of their customers and workers.”
The lawmakers next headed to the Blue Grillhouse, located at 4431 Easton Ave. in Bethlehem, to participate in a roundtable discussion with members of the GLVCC. The discussion centered on two questions that voters will have an opportunity to answer on the May 18 Primary Election ballot.
The ballot questions deal with the way disaster declarations – like the ones issued by Wolf throughout the pandemic – should be handled in the future.
A “yes” vote on ballot question No. 1 would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to enable a majority of state lawmakers, elected by the people, to vote to end emergency declarations and restrictions on citizens. A “no” vote would mean the current system – which gives the governor the power to indefinitely maintain emergency restrictions on citizens – would remain intact.
A “yes” vote on ballot question No. 2 would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to end each disaster declaration after 21 days unless the General Assembly, which is elected by the people, votes to extend it. A “no” vote would mean the current system giving the governor the sole authority to extend declarations – including “emergency provisions, business closures and restrictions – would remain intact.
“For more than a year, Gov. Wolf has told Pennsylvanians how this emergency would be handled in the Commonwealth,” Flood said. “I voted to put these questions on the ballot so Pennsylvanians can have a say in how future emergencies will be handled by their state government. The governor needs to work with the General Assembly and listen to the needs of the Pennsylvanians we represent. No governor should be able to disregard the voices of the people in our Commonwealth.”
The Pennsylvania General Assembly includes the 203 representatives in the state House and the 50 members of the state Senate.
More information about the ballot questions and how they would impact Pennsylvanians is available here
Representative Ann Flood
138th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing
State Rep. Ann Flood (R-Northampton) visited Dotta Chrysler Jeep in Pen Argyl on Tuesday to learn about the negative effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the car dealership and its customers and workers. Pictured here are Head Mechanic Ted Ashenfalder, Flood, Executive Director Anita Dotta and Head of Sales Chris Walters.