HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Army National Guard members like local state Rep. Joe Kerwin (R-Dauphin/Schuylkill) shouldn’t have to wait for government approval to help during an emergency by using state-owned vehicles. That’s the sentiment behind a bill Kerwin introduced that was approved today in Harrisburg by the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.
“I have seen firsthand situations where National Guard members needed to use state-owned vehicles to help the people of Pennsylvania during an emergency,” Kerwin said. “We thankfully had a waiver, but National Guard members shouldn’t have to depend on politicians or bureaucrats to do what’s necessary to accomplish their mission.”
National Guard members currently are unable to operate state-owned vehicles without a waiver like the one implemented by Gov. Tom Wolf during the COVID-19 pandemic. That waiver enabled National Guard members to use state-owned vehicles to transport COVID-19 patients. Without the waiver, the National Guard members’ hands would have been tied.
“I want to get rid of this hurdle that could prevent our National Guard members from performing their important and often life-saving work during natural disasters and other emergencies,” Kerwin said. “We should make the common-sense option the default setting in this case.”
A video of Kerwin’s remarks during the committee meeting is available on his Facebook page at Facebook.com/RepKerwin
Kerwin’s House Bill 2086
now moves to the full state House of Representatives for consideration.
Representative Joseph Kerwin
125th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing