In his latest COVID-19 update, Senator DiSanto details various PA Senate response measures to the outbreak. These measures come as a result of remote meetings of the Senate and House of Representatives.

Highlights include:

  • Easing eligibility requirements for UC (Unemployment Compensation).
  • Extending local tax filing deadlines to July 15th, 2020.
  • Moving the PA primary election to June 2nd (from April 28th).
  • Waiving the 180-day school year requirement.
  • Providing up to fifty million dollars ($50 M) in additional funding to healthcare facilities.

A portion of this email update follows, more specifically detailing the PA Senate response measures enacted. We modified the content to include links, where appropriate, for readers who wish more information.

PA Senate Response Measures

The Senate and House of Representatives convened remotely to pass four bills to keep Pennsylvania moving forward during the COVID-19 coronavirus public health emergency. The measures now go to the Governor for enactment into law.

House Bill 68 amends the Unemployment Compensation Law to ease eligibility requirements and access to unemployment compensation for workers impacted by the coronavirus, including waiving the one-week waiting period for all claimants during the governor’s disaster declaration. Job search and registration requirements for claimants will be waived. The measure provides automatic relief from benefit charges for any employer whose account would otherwise be charged for weeks of unemployment occurring during the duration of a disaster emergency.

Senate Bill 422 makes several changes to the Pennsylvania Election Code to move the primary election date from April 28 to June 2 and give counties the authority to close, relocate or consolidate polling places due to the potential shortage of available volunteers and venues.

Senate Bill 751 makes several changes to the Public School Code to waive the 180-day requirement for public schools and similar restrictions for career and technical schools and pre-kindergarten instruction. It allows for an increase in flexible instruction days and guarantees that teachers receive the same compensation they would have received if the pandemic had not occurred.

House Bill 1232 amends the Fiscal Code to provide up to $50 million in additional funding to healthcare facilities for the purchase of medical equipment and supplies to address the demands that COVID-19 could place on the state’s healthcare system. It extends the deadline to declare and pay estimated Personal Income Tax and authorizes the Department of Community and Economic Development to coordinate with local political subdivisions to extend filing and payment deadlines for the local Earned Income Tax. These deadlines have been extended to July 15, 2020. In addition, it extends the temporary regulations related to Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis industry until November 2021.

A full, gavel-to-gavel video recording of session is available for viewing here.