In This Update:
Senate Committee to Discuss Rural Hospitals in Monongahela
Rural areas like ours rely heavily on small local hospitals to meet the healthcare needs of the community. The long-term health of rural Pennsylvania communities depends on these facilities being able to serve patients for many years to come.
At my request, the Senate Majority Policy Committee will hold a workshop discussion in Monongahela on August 3 to highlight the challenges facing these facilities now and in the future.
The workshop will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Anthony M. Lombardi Education Conference Center located at the Monongahela Valley Hospital. The discussion will be open to the public and will also be streamed live on the Senate Majority Policy Committee’s website at http://policy.pasenategop.com.
Hearing Explores 2020 Election Issues
New voting machines, mail-in ballots, changing polling locations and last-second rule changes by the Wolf Administration created numerous issues during the 2020 Primary Election, including confusion among voters and long delays in reporting election results. The Senate State Government Committee held a hearing this week on these and other issues to ensure these problems do not create the same kind of chaos during the General Election in November.
The hearing included testimony from state and county election officials, as well as recommendations on possible actions the General Assembly could take to ensure future elections are efficient, accurate and fair.
Guidance Available to Safely Reopen Pennsylvania Schools
As many parents, teachers and administrators continue to prepare for the return to school in the fall, the state Department of Health and state Department of Education recently announced guidelines to safely reopen school buildings. The guidance includes recommendations for best practices on social distancing, health screenings, meals, extracurricular activities and more.
Under the new guidance, each school entity will determine whether classes will resume through in-person instruction, remote learning, or a combination of both. Questions and concerns about reopening plans should be directed to local school boards and other education entities.
Lawmakers approved $150 million in CARES Act funding to help schools navigate the challenges created by COVID-19.
New Laws Support Job Creation, Child Safety, and More
Several noteworthy bills that were approved by the Senate recently were signed into law this week, including:
Grants Available to Businesses for Hazard Pay
Businesses, healthcare non-profits, public transportation agencies and certified economic development organizations can apply now for grants to reimburse expenses from paying hazard pay to employees working in vital industries. Applicants can apply for grants of up to $1,200 per eligible employee for up to 500 employees.
Hazard pay would be available for the period from August 16 to October 24. Participants must apply by July 31 using the Electronic Single Application for Assistance located at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us.
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