Gov. Wolf Vetoes Unnecessary Bill, Provisions Would Risk Spreading COVID-19 September 21, 2020 Press Release, Public Health Governor Tom Wolf today vetoed House Bill 2787, which would have mandated that school fall activities be under the sole jurisdiction of local school districts. This bill is superfluous given that local school governing bodies already have authority but it restricts state and local officials’ ability to respond to health concerns and potential outbreaks as we enter this year’s particularly risky flu season.The bill would have done nothing more than create legislation for something that already exists. Instead of drafting bills such as this the legislature should be focused on bills that protect the health and safety of our children in their learning environments, minimize exposure to COVID-19 and prevent the spread of this deadly virus.Gov. Wolf’s HB 2787 veto message:“We have been confronting extraordinary challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue the fight against COVID-19, we need to continue to prioritize the health and welfare of Pennsylvanians and minimize public health risks. However, this bill does nothing to promote public health or ensure that our children have a safe learning environment. As we reopen our schools, we need to continue to be vigilant and take precautions to keep ourselves, our communities, and our children healthy. These mitigation efforts not only help keep our children, teachers, and staff healthy, they also help keep our schools open.“This bill is entirely unnecessary. While I recommended against holding school sports before January 2021, it was a recommendation and neither an order nor a mandate. Local school governing bodies have maintained the authority to decide how extracurricular activities, including school sports, proceed at the local level. Furthermore, to the extent COVID-19 cases may rise and spread during the fall and through the upcoming cold and flu season, the Department of Health must maintain the critical authority to limit exposure to COVID-19. Minimizing this exposure is paramount.“This bill also has constitutional infirmities as it attempts to take away executive authority during the 2020-2021 school year. Instead of unnecessary legislation, we need to focus on providing schools the tools and resources they need to be successful in educating our children and we need to help people impacted by the pandemic with legislation such as funding for small businesses and child care, and paid sick leave for employees.” SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
Pete Carroll always used to joke that he refused to divulge Taylor Mays’ 40-yard dash time because no one would believe him if he did.I guess now we’ll never know the truth.The answer was supposed to be finally revealed once and for all Tuesday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. It looked for a minute as though Mays had delivered that jaw-dropping moment when it was announced he had recorded a 4.24 second 40-yard dash, which would have tied the record mark set by Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson in 2008.But that listing was unofficial. Mays true mark was announced as 4.43 seconds, leaving everyone in the Lucas Oil Stadium befuddled. Timing can vary by a few hundredths of a second depending on who’s holding the stopwatch. But how does someone’s speed vary by two-tenths of a second?There was a certain disappointment that lingered once the more reasonable time was announced. If the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Mays had truly run a 4.24, he would have gone down in history as one of the best combine performers of all time. Now he only gets the benefit of being labeled as one of your run-of-the-mill elite physical specimens.Mays’ mark was still the best among defensive backs, but it’s easy to see why he would be disappointed with the new mark. It’s the equivalent of getting a 101 on your test only to have your professor take it back and regrade it as an 89. Sure, there’s some estimation involved, but there’s no accounting for such a discrepancy.Cameras superimposed Mays’ run against those of other speedy prospects, leading to the conclusion that the former USC safety had to have run faster than the official time with which he was credited. In all likelihood, it will be a great mystery until everyone forgets about it in roughly a week.But “40-gate” reinforced an important point: The NFL Draft focuses more on a collection of perceptions than it does exact information.From the outside, the NFL draft is a neurotic organizer’s dream. Everything has to be categorized, ranked and sorted. Teams and analysts ramble about what they claim to definitively know. If someone is picked too high or too low or above another player, there must be immediate, inherently justified outrage.But the truth is that there is no true sorting system for the NFL draft. The lack of predictability is what makes the event, when stripped of its hype, so enjoyable.Many of our perceptions are not entirely based on criteria that accurately predict the success of future NFL players. How else would you describe JaMarcus Russell’s ascension to No. 1 overall draft pick despite a litany of questions about his ability to lead a team and make good decisions? Oh right, you could account for it by mentioning that he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders.But there are plenty of other examples. The Miami Dolphins drafted wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., ninth overall despite the fact that he had the notable handicap of struggling to catch the ball, which ranks pretty highly on the things you would want from a player of his position.Teams, fans and analysts develop perceptions of players that evolve throughout the draft process. Of course, teams get in trouble when their perceptions of a flawed but talented player begin to drift away from the facts.When looking at a player with an obvious upside but significant problems, teams almost act like girls who think they can fix that troubled guy they like so much. He’ll change, they say, once I get a crack at him. And of course, they end up getting burned.But no matter what the team’s objective, it’s clear those perceptions matter more than the raw data.So what’s the perception that followed Mays after the draft? Well, it is probably that he is capable of moving extremely fast in one direction, especially for a player of his size — insightful analysis, right?I limit the statement at that because there are still questions about Mays that concern teams. Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated wrote that Mays “was in bad form” during defensive back drills and showed poor fundamentals. And fairly or unfairly, Mays is now battling the reputation that he’s a workout warrior who still needs polishing.Mays will get another chance to change teams’ opinion of him when he performs at USC’s pro day at the end of the month. The comfortable setting should give him the opportunity to show off his skills in the best possible context.At the very least, he should give us another 40 time to talk about.“Tackling Dummy” runs Thursdays. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or e-mail Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.