HAP's Latest News

Governor Wolf Signs Two HAP-supported Health Care Bills; Vetoes Bill Banning Proof of Vaccine Requirements in Government Facilities

July 01, 2021

This week, Governor Wolf signed two key proposals to support the health care community, while vetoing a measure that would have banned proof of vaccine requirements in state facilities and other public health mitigation orders.

The final approval for Senate Bill 425 and Senate Bill 115 comes after they were introduced in previous sessions and numerous stakeholder negotiations. The HAP-supported legislation will:

  • Clarify informed consent:  Prime sponsored by Senator John Gordner (R-Columbia), this proposal clarifies the process for physicians to obtain informed consent from patients and ensures they have complete access to the information they need to make informed decisions. The bill addresses a 2017 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that limited a physician’s ability to delegate the duty to obtain informed consent prior to specified procedures
  • Support the health care workforce:  Prime sponsored by Senator Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton), Senate Bill 115 allows nurses who meet uniform licensing standards to practice across state lines. The legislation reflects recommendations from HAP’s Health Care Talent Task Force

In addition, Governor Wolf announced today that he had vetoed Senate Bill 618; HAP opposed this legislation.

The measure, sponsored by Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York), would have banned proof of vaccination requirements for use of state and local government facilities, including any institution of higher education receiving state funding. It also would have prevented the Secretary of Health from issuing public health mitigation orders, such as mask-wearing, and limited the state’s ability to collect immunization information for the Statewide Immunization Information System, Governor Wolf said.

Governor Wolf released a statement today outlining his decision to veto the legislation, calling the proposal “contradictory, misguided and irresponsible.”

HAP will continue to monitor developments in Harrisburg and provide updates to members. For more information, contact Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy.