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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 11, 2021 02:52 PM
From: Representative Jason Ortitay
To: All House members
Subject: Allocation of Federal COVID-19 Relief for Businesses, Fire and EMS, and Front-line Workers
The federal government has been discussing the size and breadth of a future round of funding for states to allocate to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects.  If that funding materializes, I believe that the Commonwealth should move quickly to allocate it to our citizens. In order to prepare for this possibility, I will be introducing a package of three bills to allocate such funding and to establish the statutory programs needed to drive the money out.

Document #1

Introduced as HB742

Description: Prioritizing Future CARES Funds

The first bill in this package would allocate up to $3.25 billion of federal funding that would become available for these purposes across five identified priority areas. 

Up to $1 billion would be allocated for a grant program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. An additional $500 million would be allocated for a grant program for small businesses that were discontinued as a result of COVID-19. Both of these programs would be managed by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) via guidelines.

Another $250 million would be appropriated for transfer to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for a new round of cultural and museum preservation grants.

An additional $1 billion would be provided for grants to frontline workers, which would be established via the second bill in this package.

Finally, $500 million would be allocated for Fire and EMS grants, which would be established via the third bill in this package.

Document #2

Introduced as HB1192

Description: Frontline Workers Program

The second bill in this package would establish the Financial Assistance for Frontline Workers Program within the Department of Community and Economic Development. Under this program, essential employees of identified critical industries who were not able to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic would be eligible for a grant.

Document #3

Introduced as HB743

Description: Fire and EMS Relief Program

The final bill in this package would establish the Fire and EMS Relief program for volunteer ambulance services, volunteer fire companies or volunteer rescue services which experienced a loss in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.