Rep. Mizgorski provides legislative update on covid-19
Friday, March 27, 2020 | 1:35 PM
State Rep. Lori Mizgorski announced today that the House met in session this week to consider legislation necessary to address some of the impacts of the spread of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth.
“I want residents to know that we are working hard here in Harrisburg and back in the district,” said Mizgorski. “We are making some tough decisions, as we are trying to protect all Pennsylvanians, while still maintaining our economy.”
Mizgorski joined her colleagues in the House in voting to delay the primary election until Tuesday, June 2. This will give counties additional time to prepare contingency plans for election day.
The House voted to ensure workers have access to the unemployment compensation (UC) they need. House Bill 68 enacts several emergency measures, which expire Jan. 1, 2021. Most notably, the bill waives the waiting week requirement and job search/registration requirements for all UC claimants for the direction of the disaster emergency.
For employers, the bill provides relief from charges for contributory employers who pay UC taxes and reimbursable employers (nonprofits and public employers) who elected to pay a solvency fee to the UC Trust Fund.
The bill authorizes the Department of Labor & Industry to enact any emergency regulations necessary to comply with requirements for any federal assistance for administrative costs, extended benefits, disaster unemployment, or any other unemployment assistance. Emergency regulations will expire 120 days after the federal emergency provisions expire.
The House also approved several changes to address ongoing school closures. The governor announced earlier this week schools would remain closed through at least April 6, with students tentatively scheduled to return to classes April 9.
Senate Bill 751 ensures school districts are making a “good faith effort” to develop a plan to offer continuing education during the closure of schools. The bill eliminates the 180-day instruction requirement on all public and non-public schools. It allows the secretary of Education to increase the number of allowable flexible instruction days and waive the timeline regarding those days. Additionally, the bill ensures there will be no loss of school subsidies.
To help businesses impacted by the spread of COVID-19 and subsequent mitigation efforts, there are two loan programs available.
The first program is the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program which provides loans of up to $100,000 for working capital with a 0% interest rate for qualified businesses employing 100 or fewer full-time employees. The program is being administered through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA). For more information, visit https://dced.pa.gov/programs.
The second program is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan. This program can offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Businesses may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster.
“We are doing our very best to respond to the immediate needs of our residents during this time,” continued Mizgorski. “While my office is still closed to walk-in services, my staff is still available to assist constituent needs by phone or email.”
Mizgorski’s staff is available to assist constituents by phone at 412-487-6605 or online at www.RepMizgorski.com/contact, during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.