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Dermody: Companies getting tax dollars for projects must deliver on promise of good wages for workers

Burns commends creation of Pa. Manufacturing Call to Action portal to combat COVID-19

(16 hours ago)

Saturday announcement dovetails with Burns’ March 18 request Read more

 

Burns seeks COVID-19 medical supplies for Cambria County

(Apr 03, 2020)

Asks governor, Health secretary for fair share of masks, protective gear Read more

 

Wheatley: Bill would provide emergency relief to affected workers during COVID-19 pandemic

(Apr 02, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, April 2 – In an effort to provide widespread help to essential workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, state Rep. Jake Wheatley has introduced a measure that would provide multiple levels of assistance. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said H.B. 2380 would include the following: Provide additional wages to essential workers, including those who make less than $15 an hour. Ban employers from requiring employees to use their Paid Time Off directly preceding a layoff due to a health emergency. Suspend all mortgage and rent payments for workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic (beginning April 1, 2020, and ending one month following the end of the state emergency declaration). Landlords would be able to apply for reimbursement for lost rent during this period. Forgiveness of student loans in full for essential employees who work more than 150 hours during the outbreak (with proof of essential employee status and hours worked). The legislation would be paid for by a general bond not to exceed $10 billion, Wheatley added. “Right now, we are living in unprecedented, uncertain times, and it’s vital we take action and respond to the immediate needs of residents who have been impacted by this pandemic, due to their work or the loss of their jobs,” Wheatley said. “We have an opportunity to provide and support thousands of Pennsylvanians during this challenging time, and I urge my Read more

 

COVID-19 support for PA business

(Apr 02, 2020)

COVID-19 SUPPORT FOR PA BUSINESSES FEDERAL Contacts: Visit: https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance/find/?type=SBA%20District%20Office&pageNumber=1 to find your local Small Business Administration (SBA) District Office Programs: Coronavirus Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources Information Visit: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – Loan Program and Forgiveness to help eligible businesses cover the costs of payroll, health care benefits, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities during COVID-19. Loan has a maturity of 2 years and interest rate of 1.0%. Open to small businesses, restaurants, hotels, tribal businesses, non-profits, independent contractors, and gig economy workers. Contact your local lender to see if they participate in this program! Loan period: February 15, 2020 through June 30, 2020. Visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp . Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Loan – Loans up to $2 million for small businesses (3.75% interest rate) and private, nonprofit organizations (2.75% interest rate) suffering as a result of COVID-19. Loans for fix debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills. Advance of Read more

 

Burns proposes ‘American Made’ legislation to create thousands of jobs, reduce reliance on foreign supply chains

(Mar 31, 2020)

Lawmaker crafting bills to bring manufacturing back to U.S.A. Read more

 

Wheatley introduces bill to protect public school districts from lawsuits due to COVID-19 related operational changes

(Mar 31, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, March 31 – Public school districts statewide have had to make significant adjustments in how they educate students during the current COVID-19 pandemic, and state Rep. Jake Wheatley said his measure would help protect districts from frivolous lawsuits. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said that House Bill 2375 would prevent legal actions against districts for operational changes that they have had to make due to the coronavirus pandemic in the current 2019-20 school year. “A school district’s primary job is to educate students – and many districts have had to be flexible in implementing ways to continue to teach, due to the restrictions that many families face,” Wheatley said. “My goal is to ensure that these districts can continue to operate as best as they can without fearing legal action due to a situation completely out of their control.” Wheatley added that his effort isn’t an attempt to restrict parents’ rights, but to help protect the state’s public school districts during a vulnerable time. Read more

 

Pennsylvanians’ reproductive rights under attack amid pandemic

(Mar 30, 2020)

Lawmaker urges Wolf to defend families’ rights from cynical attacks Read more

 

Snyder: Bill would create new volunteer fire, EMS crisis grants

(Mar 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 28 – State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Fayette/Greene/Washington, today officially introduced a measure to provide immediate financial assistance to volunteer fire and emergency management service companies. Snyder said House Bill 2374 would establish a one-time program to provide automatic crisis grants to each fire and EMS company in Pennsylvania, once approved by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. These grants would be funded by a one-time transfer of $30 million from the Volunteer Companies Loan Fund, which has been used to balance the state budgets in 2014 and 2016, she added. “Every day, our brave men and women are putting their lives on the line to help us stay safe and assist those in need, especially now during these uncertain times with the current COVID-19 pandemic,” Snyder said. “They aren’t able to conduct their normal fundraising activities, and that’s why this grant program is so vital to help them stay afloat and answer the call.” Snyder added her bill has more than 30 co-sponsors and she anticipates the House will move quickly to consider it. For statewide and regional resources and information on COVID-19, residents can visit the following link: https://www.pahouse.net/snyder/News/?id=113189 . Read more

 

Burns supports $30 million in emergency grants for fire, EMS companies during coronavirus crisis

(Mar 27, 2020)

Bill would provide one-time grants to support their efforts Read more

 

Snyder plans to introduce bill to create one-time crisis grant program to assist volunteer fire, EMS companies

(Mar 27, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 27 – Recognizing their need for support during the current COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Pam Snyder today announced upcoming legislation to provide immediate financial assistance to volunteer fire and emergency management service companies. Snyder, D-Fayette/Greene/Washington, said her bill would establish the creation of a one-time grant program, approved by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Office of the State Fire Commissioner, that would provide automatic crisis grants to each fire and EMS company. These grants would be funded by a one-time transfer of $30 million from the Volunteer Companies Loan Fund, a fund Snyder said has been used to balance the state budgets in 2014 and 2016. “These men and women put their lives on the line each and every day, especially now with the coronavirus pandemic affecting our state,” Snyder said. “At the same time, these same companies are unable to conduct regular fundraising efforts to stay active. My bill would provide this one-time vital assistance to help these first responders keep answering the call for help.” For more information, including resources and additional information on state and regional COVID-19 resources, please visit the following link: https://www.pahouse.net/snyder/News/?id=113189 Read more

 

Kim reminds Pennsylvanians that hate and discrimination will not be tolerated during the COVID-19 public health crisis

(Mar 26, 2020)

HARRISBURG, MARCH 26 – State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, today said she is joining with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission to push back on hate crimes and advocate for tolerance during the coronavirus, COVID-19 global pandemic. “I want to thank the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and its executive director, Chad Lassiter, for standing behind our Asian-American community," Kim said. "We want to remind Pennsylvanians that it is unacceptable to tolerate racial slurs, xenophobic attacks and harassment, especially during this global pandemic. It’s wrong to shift blame or accuse Asian-Americans for this crisis. Pathogens do not discriminate. I stand ready to help and protect anyone who is being discriminated against during the COVID-19 crisis. Moving forward, do not hesitate to contact my office for direct assistance and to report these instances of abuse and harassment. We stand united together in our fight against hate.” “In response to the many calls received by both the PHRC and the office of Representative Kim, we want you to know that we are taking those communications and responding as quickly as possible,” said Lassiter. “We are setting up a rapid response system that will allow us to address acts of discrimination in this emergency that are initiated based on the COVID-19 pandemic. PHRC is pleased to be working with Representative Kim and other partners to address unacceptable Read more

 

Matzie: House unanimously passes COVID-19 response bills

(Mar 25, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, March 25 – The House today unanimously passed several COVID-19 response bills, including measures that would temporarily remove the 180-day instruction requirement for all schools and push back Pennsylvania’s primary election to June 2, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced. “This is new ground for all of us,” said Matzie, who supported both bills. “There are certain actions the governor can take by himself, but others that need legislative authority. We’re doing our best to address those in a safe, timely, bipartisan manner.” Matzie said the amended S.B. 751 – which authorizes the secretary of Education to close all schools until the COVID-19 epidemic is over and increase the number of allowable flexible instruction days , among other emergency school code changes – provides much-needed flexibility for school administrators until things return to normal. “This will not be a lost school year. Seniors will graduate, kids will learn, employees will be paid and normalcy will return when it’s safe. We’ve given our districts the flexibility they need to navigate through this crisis. The changes will help give clarity to students, faculty, support staff and administration. “From a policy perspective, it’s the right thing to do. But as a parent of a graduating senior, I fully understand and Read more

 

Burns: State loans now available for small businesses

(Mar 25, 2020)

Loans up to $100,000 carry zero-percent interest for three years Read more

 

Ravenstahl: House approves coronavirus education bill

(Mar 25, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 25 – As the state continues to respond to the evolving coronavirus crisis, the Pennsylvania House today voted to approve an education bill that would allow the Pennsylvania Department of Education to adapt to the crisis. Included in the bill was an idea proposed by state Rep. Adam Ravenstahl, D-Allegheny, last week, which would lift the existing five-day cap on flexible instruction days for the duration of the emergency. “As we adjust to this new reality, it is clear that it could be a question of if, not when, in-classroom education recommences in Pennsylvania,” Ravenstahl said. “Thankfully, last year Act 64 allowed the state Department of Education to initiate a limited flexible instruction day program prior to this crisis. “I want to thank my fellow lawmakers for including this language in today’s legislation,” Ravenstahl said. “The sooner we can open this program up, the sooner that educators, schools and the state Department of Education can start responding to this ongoing situation and work together to find a system that benefits the students of Pennsylvania.” In addition to lifting the cap on flexible instruction days, the bill would ensure that school funding remain level and give PDE the option of canceling public school, waiving the 180-days-of-school requirement, and applying for waivers of federal testing requirements and other measures. Read more

 

Schweyer responds to governor and Health secretary’s Stay At Home Order for Lehigh County

(Mar 25, 2020)

ALLENTOWN, March 25 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, today issued the following response to Gov. Tom Wolf and PA Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine’s Stay At Home order issued to Lehigh County. “This was a difficult but necessary decision and I support both Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Levine’s action,” Schweyer said. “As more cases are being reported in more counties, everyone needs to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is very important that residents stay calm, stay home and stay safe.” The Stay At Home order now includes 10 counties: Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton and Philadelphia. The amended order for Lehigh and Northampton counties takes effect at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 25 and will continue until April 6. Schweyer said that all county residents should be aware of what is deemed essential for leaving one’s home. The full Stay At Home Order is available to view here . Schweyer also said to be sure to follow his social media pages on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

 

Kenyatta, Shusterman demand protections for gig economy workers in final federal COVID-19 recovery bill

(Mar 25, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 25 – As a historic $2 trillion COVID-19 financial response legislation package struck a deal in Congress early Wednesday morning, state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta and Melissa Shusterman today introduced a resolution urging federal lawmakers to ensure unemployment compensation for the nation’s 57 million independent contractors and “gig” economy workers (or app based independent contractors) is included in the final financial aid legislation aimed at helping workers during the coronavirus crisis. “These employees comprise over a third of the country’s working population and remain among the most critically under-protected workers, with many not qualifying for unemployment benefits. During this pandemic, they were left with the terrible ultimatum of continuing to work to make ends meet or do their part in reducing spreading the virus by staying home. Many have chosen the latter, resulting in loss of income at alarming rates and the prospect of recouping those losses is uncertain,” Kenyatta, D-Phila., said. “We’re demanding that all independent contractors are protected in any final package.” Shusterman, D-Chester, concurred with Kenyatta’s assertion saying, “It is important that we help this sector of our work population navigate this crisis with immediate relief and action.” Kenyatta said that a copy of the resolution would also be sent to President Donald Trump and Vice Read more

 

Bullock announces $25K safety grant for Metropolitan Baptist Church

(Mar 23, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 23 – State Rep. Donna Bullock announced today that the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency awarded a $25,000 state grant to Metropolitan Baptist Church for safety and security measures. “While it’s difficult to think that safety and security measures are necessary to protect people in the places they gather to worship, it is an unfortunate reality, and I am grateful that this grant fund exists and that Metropolitan Baptist Church has received this funding,” Bullock said. “That said, my hope is that while Metropolitan Baptist Church uses this grant funding to improve safety at its facilities, our communities can continue to work to promote love and equity, and to diminish hate and ignorance.” The grant awarded to Metropolitan Baptist Church is one of 113 totaling more than $5 million that the commission approved this month. Metropolitan Baptist Church’s application for the grant funding was one of 805 applications submitted through the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program, which was created after House Bill 859, which established the fund, was signed into law in November. The fund is specifically for nonprofit organizations that serve people, groups or institutions that are included within a bias-motivation category for single-bias hate crime incidents, as identified by the FBI’s 2017 Hate Crime Statistics publication. The grant awards may be used for security Read more

 

House Democratic leaders support Gov. Wolf’s response to state health crisis

(Mar 20, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 20 – House Democratic leaders said criticism of Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to use emergency powers to shut down non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania is off-base in light of the most up-to-date medical guidance for dealing with COVID-19. “This unprecedented national public health emergency demands leadership from all levels of government. This is a matter of life and death, without hyperbole. That’s a reality we all need to confront. In conjunction with top medical professionals, the governor is leading our state and working to make the best decisions based on medical evidence. Every hour we see more of that evidence in front of us. “Now is the time to reduce people’s contact in order to lessen the impact of this crisis and reduce its duration. Simply put, the action taken by the governor, which is strongly supported by Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, will save lives. Taking swift action sooner rather than later will lessen the long-term impact on businesses and help our employers and employees return to normal as soon as possible. “The governor is facing impossible choices and is making decisions based on the advice of medical experts. We will continue to work and offer help and guidance to all affected employees and employers. We thank all the business owners who have led the way in this effort and helped prevent the spread of the virus, as well as the medical Read more

 

Reps. Cephas, Roebuck propose legislation to waive interest for student loan and home loan borrowers amid COVID-19 pandemic

(Mar 20, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 20 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas is introducing legislation with Rep. James Roebuck that would give Pennsylvanians who are paying off their student loans and home loans a break on interest during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Cephas said the goal of her legislation is to protect people i n need during the crisis -- especially those who struggled to buy their first home or go to college. “In the span of three months, COVID-19 has infected more than 207,000 people worldwide and counting. In Pennsylvania alone, there are 185 confirmed cases – and that number will most likely continue to grow in the coming weeks,” said Cephas, D-Phila. “Not only does this virus heavily impact our day-to-day lives, it also affects our futures. Hardworking Pennsylvanians and their families are finding themselves out of a job, or with fewer hours. With limited access to income, they are unable to pay their rent, bills, loans, and many other expenses accrued over time. We must do all we can to give working people a break during this unexpected time which proves to be more and more challenging.” Cephas said student loans and home loans take large amounts from a person’s paycheck, which is why she is focusing on those borrowers. She is introducing two bills, one that would waive interest on student loans through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and one that would waive interest on loans issued by the Read more

 

Democratic legislators applaud state Supreme Court decision to halt evictions

(Mar 18, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 18 – Following the announcement that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would be halting all eviction notices, multiple House Democrats, who earlier in the day requested this halt, issued the following statement: “We’re extremely appreciative to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for showing judicious leadership in halting all evictions statewide through at least April 3 and possibly beyond depending on the COVID-19 pandemic. “As we continually urge Pennsylvanians to stay home out of great concern for their personal health as well as the health of their community, it’s unconscionable that they could still be evicted and thrown into a world of instability when stability is what they need most. This halting of evictions doesn’t only help the homeowner or lessee, it helps the entire community. “Far too many people are living paycheck to paycheck and now face the real situation of being out of work for an extended period of time. Ensuring they have a roof over their heads for the foreseeable future isn’t simply the right thing to do, it’s the moral thing to do.” The following House Democratic legislators signed on to a letter, which can be viewed here, requesting the Pennsylvania Supreme Court halt all eviction proceedings: Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny. Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, D-Phila. State Rep. Mary Isaacson, D-Phila. State Read more

 

Burns commends creation of Pa. Manufacturing Call to Action portal to combat COVID-19
16 hours ago

Burns seeks COVID-19 medical supplies for Cambria County
Apr 03, 2020

Wheatley: Bill would provide emergency relief to affected workers during COVID-19 pandemic
Apr 02, 2020

COVID-19 support for PA business
Apr 02, 2020

Burns proposes ‘American Made’ legislation to create thousands of jobs, reduce reliance on foreign supply chains
Mar 31, 2020

Wheatley introduces bill to protect public school districts from lawsuits due to COVID-19 related operational changes
Mar 31, 2020

Pennsylvanians’ reproductive rights under attack amid pandemic
Mar 30, 2020

Snyder: Bill would create new volunteer fire, EMS crisis grants
Mar 28, 2020

Burns supports $30 million in emergency grants for fire, EMS companies during coronavirus crisis
Mar 27, 2020

Snyder plans to introduce bill to create one-time crisis grant program to assist volunteer fire, EMS companies
Mar 27, 2020

Kim reminds Pennsylvanians that hate and discrimination will not be tolerated during the COVID-19 public health crisis
Mar 26, 2020

Matzie: House unanimously passes COVID-19 response bills
Mar 25, 2020

Burns: State loans now available for small businesses
Mar 25, 2020

Ravenstahl: House approves coronavirus education bill
Mar 25, 2020

Schweyer responds to governor and Health secretary’s Stay At Home Order for Lehigh County
Mar 25, 2020

Kenyatta, Shusterman demand protections for gig economy workers in final federal COVID-19 recovery bill
Mar 25, 2020

Bullock announces $25K safety grant for Metropolitan Baptist Church
Mar 23, 2020

House Democratic leaders support Gov. Wolf’s response to state health crisis
Mar 20, 2020

Reps. Cephas, Roebuck propose legislation to waive interest for student loan and home loan borrowers amid COVID-19 pandemic
Mar 20, 2020

Democratic legislators applaud state Supreme Court decision to halt evictions
Mar 18, 2020