|Posted:||August 2, 2021 03:27 PM|
|From:||Representative F. Todd Polinchock and Rep. Jason Ortitay|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Allocation of Pandemic Response Discretionary Account|
|Our offices are receiving phone calls and visits, as we are certain yours are as well, from local restaurant owners and our local small employers still struggling from the effects of COVID-19 and the economic shutdowns initiated by the Wolf administration.
As part of the FY 2021-2022 state budget, we included a $372 million pandemic response discretionary account. We are drafting legislation to create two open and competitive grant programs designed to help struggling small businesses across the Commonwealth. We also are suggesting a portion of those funds be used for increasing Pennsylvania’s vaccine awareness and deployment.
According to reports, the top 5% of federal restaurant relief fund awardees received 40% of the money and only one-third of Pennsylvania restaurants that applied received the assistance.
Our proposal is to provide $150 million of these funds to a Small Restaurant Pandemic Relief Fund; $150 million to a Pennsylvania Small Employer Pandemic Relief Fund; and $20 million to a Vaccination Awareness Fund. The remaining $47 million would be available for the governor to provide pandemic relief on an as-needed basis.
Please join us in prioritizing accountability and creating a competitive grant program to help our local employers with these available funds.
In the absence of legislation, the governor is not prohibited from using the pandemic response discretionary funds to create these programs on his own.