Senate Adopts Temporary Emergency Rules to Continue Operating During Coronavirus Mitigation

HARRISBURG – The Senate took an important step to continue its operations safely today by passing a resolution allowing members to vote remotely, according Senator Mario Scavello (R-40).

The temporary emergency rules included in Senate Resolution 318 will ensure the Senate can continue voting even when senators cannot be physically present at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg due to coronavirus mitigation efforts that are ongoing statewide.

The resolution creates a mechanism for members to file bills electronically and to participate in committee meetings and session through the use of communications technology. The emergency powers are scheduled to expire July 31, 2020 or 10 days following the expiration of the governor’s emergency order, whichever is sooner.

Senator Scavello stressed that the rule will only be used to vote on issues directly related to coronavirus and in helping citizens who are in need.

“These temporary rules will allow the Senate do its part in halting the spread of this virus as soon as possible and helping Pennsylvanians harmed by the pandemic,” Scavello said. “Meeting as a large group risks spreading the virus. Voting remotely is the responsible way to help ensure the Commonwealth is doing all it can to protect the citizens.”

In order to ensure transparency, session was announced well in advance and streamed live for the public at

Session was very brief and social distancing was strongly encouraged for members in accordance with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.


CONTACT: Christine Zubeck (717) 787-6123