Gov. Tom Wolf is establishing a joint task force with members from each legislative caucus who can share vaccine information and communicate issues and solutions expediently on behalf of and to the broader General Assembly.
While conversations with the entire General Assembly on the state’s vaccine plan will remain ongoing, the goal of the task force is to provide a mechanism for accurate, timely information sharing via a streamlined set of communicators between these two branches of state government.
“We have a good working relationship with our legislators, and we know they are the eyes, ears and voices for Pennsylvanians,” Wolf said. “The feedback they receive from their local communities is extremely important, particularly as the commonwealth continues to improve upon this once-in-a-generation vaccine rollout. Working with leaders from each caucus in the General Assembly, we are creating a task force to ensure collaboration and strengthen communications about the state’s vaccine plan.”
Task force members will represent their caucus’ point of view and work to streamline conversations to focus and drive issues of importance. Wolf Administration members will serve as task force members with subject matter expertise to listen, collaborate and provide information, answers and suggestions to solve problems in a timely manner.
Members of the task force include co-chairs Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam and Director of Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Randy Padfield; Sen. Art Haywood for the Senate Democratic Caucus; Rep. Bridget Kosierowski for the House Democratic Caucus; Sen. Ryan Aument for the Senate Republican Caucus; and Rep. Tim O’Neal for the House Republican Caucus.
The task force will meet as needed and provide updates to the full General Assembly via each of the task force members.
On the heels of the announcement, LeadingAge PA president and CEO Adam Marles expressed his wish that Wolf forms a broader task force to better incorporate the state’s senior citizens.
“This is a good first step, but we continue to believe LeadingAge PA can be part of the solution to help expedite vaccinations of our most vulnerable residents, hopefully slowing the spread of COVID-19 and reducing infection rate,” Marles said. “Today’s announcement of an emergency task force should include representatives from the Department of Health, pharmacy providers, organizers of the retail pharmacy roll-out program, and those providing housing and services to older adults. Pennsylvania currently ranks near the bottom in the country in distribution. Experts should be at the table to help with this unprecedented and historic mission.”