Oct. 21, 2021

HARRISBURG – House Health Committee Majority Chair Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest) issued the following statement today in response to the Commonwealth Joint Committee on Document’s ruling that acting Health Secretary Alison Beam’s statewide school masking mandate is not a regulation or subject to Pennsylvania’s Regulatory Review Act: 

“Although not surprising, today’s ruling blatantly ignores our foundational constitutional separation of powers, the rule of law, local control, parental and student rights, and especially individual liberty.

“Pennsylvania’s Regulatory Review Act was enacted to foster executive branch accountability and to ensure ultimate review of regulations by the General Assembly.

“By completely circumventing the regulatory review process, acting Secretary Beam refuses to acknowledge that the governor’s disaster emergency declaration was restricted by Pennsylvania voters on May 18 and terminated by the General Assembly on June 10.
“With the governor’s emergency declaration no longer in effect, the unelected health secretary’s ‘broad emergency powers’ to impose mandates outside the normal and required parameters of the regulatory review process no longer apply.

“The inherent dangers of exclusively exercising government authority through one single branch were expressed by James Madison in Federalist Number 47: ‘The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands, whether of one, or a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.’

“Moving forward, the temporary setback created by today’s unfortunate majority decision opens the door for future opportunities to challenge government overreach and fully restore the system of checks and balances established by our forefathers.” 

Representative Kathy Rapp
65th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ty McCauslin
RepRapp.com / Facebook.com/RepRapp