Miller, ACHDD seek to support school districts, families, first responders and small businesses during outbreak

HARRISBURG, March 13 – State Rep. Dan Miller, chairman of the Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation, and fellow ACHDD members on Friday announced their legislative priorities to support Pennsylvania during the coronavirus outbreak, including the need to support low-income and working-class families without paid family leave or the ability to work from home.

Miller, as well as state Reps. Austin Davis, Dan Deasy, Tony DeLuca, House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, Dan Frankel, Ed Gainey, Sara Innamorato, Bill Kortz, Anita Kulik, Summer Lee, Brandon Markosek, Adam Ravenstahl, Harry Readshaw and Jake Wheatley issued the following statement in response to Friday’s statewide school closure:

“The delegation, first and foremost, wants to be supportive of the school districts during this time. It is clear that both they and the governor are motivated by an abundance of concern for the health and safety of both their students and staff. We respect their decision and will work to support their needs in Harrisburg. However, while the closure may have been a necessary step, it is not without its subsequent challenges -- and those challenges must be addressed by the legislature.

“At a minimum, in order to help people across Pennsylvania, Harrisburg should prioritize the following items for discussion and vote:

  1. Paid family leave legislation.
  2. Emergency funding for childcare support.
  3. Assistance for small businesses impacted by the virus.
  4. Approval of flex scheduling for school districts in relation to distance learning and in consideration of the mandatory number of school day.
  5. Suspension or easing of standardize test requirements for students as allowable (or to seek federal waiver).
  6. Improvement in access to telemedicine services.
  7. Assistance for students and seniors dependent upon free lunch or meal programs.
  8. Review of administrative policies for state personnel regarding necessary leave due to virus-related concerns.

“This is just the beginning. We need to provide help, and a ‘business as usual’ approach by the legislature is a dereliction of duty. Individuals looking for more information regarding COVID-19 can do so by vising www.health.pa.gov