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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 7, 2020 04:24 PM
From: Representative Jason Ortitay
To: All House members
Subject: COVID-19 “Frontline Workers” Incentive Fund
As we continue to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, many Pennsylvanians have faced long weeks sheltering-in-place at their homes.  While these weeks have seemed long and have been hard for those staying home, for the many workers at life sustaining businesses it has been even more difficult. Every day these brave workers have, despite the risk of being exposed, shown up to work in order to ensure vital services remained open to their neighbors.

I plan to introduce legislation recognizing the number of “frontline workers” who continue to put themselves into harms way and serve our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This legislation would appropriate $400 million to provide frontline workers with financial assistance in recognition for the hazardous work environment they face.  This bill would amend the fiscal code to create a program which would allow the following individuals to apply for financial reimbursement from the Commonwealth if they are employed by:
  1. Hospital or hospital network
  2. Long-Term Care Facility
  3. Retail Grocery Store
  4. Licensed Pharmacy
  5. Police Department
  6. Fire Department
  7. Volunteer Fire Department
  8. EMS Company
  9. Social Advocacy Organization
  10. Financial Institutions
To be eligible for reimbursement from the Commonwealth, these employees must apply for reimbursement through a process established by the Department of Revenue.  Additionally, the employee must have been working at the employer’s physical location and not been working remotely. 

The Department of Revenue, based upon the number of applicants approved for reimbursement after the eligible period is over, will establish a maximum amount an applicant can receive under the program.  The program would then award payments using the same payment percentages used by the Federal Government for stimulus checks under the CARES Act.

Please join me and co-sponsor this legislation to support our frontline workers who are providing essential services to our communities.

Introduced as HB2538