State Sen. Pat Stefano, R-Bullskin Township, was appointed by Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman to serve as chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee for the 2020-2021 legislative session.

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve as Chairman of this committee,” said Stefano. “Pennsylvania’s veterans and active military members have fought and continue to fight to protect our freedoms and the American way of life. I hold these brave citizens in the highest of regard, and I look forward to ensuring that a top priority of this committee is to take care of our veterans who have dedicated their lives to serving our country.”

Stefano went on to say, “Additionally, Pennsylvania’s first responders have faced numerous recruiting and financial challenges over the past years. Despite these challenges, and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they have continuously answered the call to serve. It is more important than ever that the legislature provide the training, resources, and support that these selfless men and women deserve, and I look forward to leading that charge.”

As chair of the committee, Stefano oversees legislation dealing with veteran-related and other military issues, as well as disaster preparation and emergency response. The committee has oversight of the Department of Military Affairs, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, and the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services under the Department of Health.

“One issue that the committee will immediately address is Gov. (Tom) Wolf’s continued emergency declaration, which has been in place for over ten months. It has been used to change and suspend state laws, spend state and federal taxpayer dollars without the General Assembly’s approval, and prevent shuttered businesses from reopening with new safety measures in place,” Stefano said.

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