Happy Thanksgiving! Interim Update
Dear Constituents, Neighbors & Friends,
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope this newsletter finds you and your family healthy and doing well. I wanted to follow-up with you on last week’s interim meetings.
Caps on Emergency Contracts
Last week I presented my bill, Emergency Procurement Declaration Modifications to the Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee. I have been working closely with the Division of Purchasing and General Services to craft language that allows the executive branch to be nimble and responsive to emergency situations while putting guardrails and checkpoints into place to encourage transparency, accountability and ultimately the competitive bid process.
The bill does the following:
Places a 30-day cap on the length of an emergency contract with the exception of natural disasters. After thirty days an agency will need to follow the normal competitive bid process in selecting vendors/services.
Requires that an emergency contract be publicly available on the procurement unit’s website within 2 weeks of the date the contract has been entered into; in addition to the contract, the entity will need to include a written document describing the specific emergency that necessitated the emergency procurement, as well as the name of the highest ranking government official that approved the emergency procurement.
The bill passed out of the committee and will be heard on the House floor early on in the session. You can read the bill in its entirety here.
The media covered this bill extensively last week. You can read the following articles:
In addition to the Emergency Procurement bill, I presented my stalking bill to the Committee on Law Enforcement that received unanimous consent going into the general session. This bill adds intent language and refines current statute to have a more targeted approach when defining stalking.
You can read the bill language here.
I appreciated Americans for Prosperity and Libertas Institute highlighting the cosmetology bill I’m working on that will pare back overregulation on small businesses who exclusively provide services like updos (think prom, wedding hair etc.), and blowouts (blow dry and style). Currently those individuals are required to have a full-blown cosmetology license. We're working on creating a simple permit that still will require health safety awareness training, but not having the onerous burden of fulfilling the requirement for 1,200 hours of training). You can read the op-ed here.
Like many of you, I have been concerned with the extended emergency powers being used by our County Mayor, health departments and Governor. While the legislature is working to comprehensively address emergency powers, we felt it was important to address certain aspects of orders issued by the Governor. I worked closely with colleagues to submit a letter to the Governor, requesting that he remove language in his orders that applied to families. We specifically requested the following language be included in any future executive orders: “This order does not apply to families, households, and guests on private residences for non-commercial purposes.” In plain terms, the government does not have the authority to tell you that you can or cannot, invite your family over for Thanksgiving Dinner. I appreciate the Governor working with us to roll back that overreaching restriction in time for the holiday.
I hope you all connect with the people you love and enjoy this holiday season of gratitude and giving.
It’s incredible to think that in 1789, President George Washington was the first to issue a Thanksgiving Proclamation. In his proclamation discussing Thanksgiving he asserted that it would be a day “devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country…[and] for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed.” Later on, at the close of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, “The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come…” Grateful for the foresight and leadership of these men; may we never forget the source of our blessings and abundance. I hope your day is filled with family, friends, and great food.
I know many families are struggling this year. Here are some organizations that are providing meals on Thanksgiving to those in need. Additionally, if you find yourself with excess and would like to donate, check out the following organizations:
2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. The stress of elections, COVID-19, job losses, and other hardships can take a toll on your mental health. The state has many helpful resources including online screening of your mental health, found here, and tips for recognizing and managing stress and anxiety found here.
It is truly a pleasure and honor to serve and work with you to make our community and state a better place to live. Please email me at email@example.com any questions or concerns you might have.
Candice B. Pierucci
State Representative for House District 52