House Votes to Bring Clarity and Consistency for Pennsylvania Businesses, Struzzi Says
4/15/2020
HARRISBURG – Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) today announced that the House of Representatives has approved multiple bills to help Pennsylvanians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Bill 613 was amended by the House to require the governor, during disaster emergency declarations, to follow the most current Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce advisory list developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in determining if businesses are life-sustaining and should be allowed to operate. Several states, including some surrounding the Commonwealth, are adhering to these federal standards during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This would create a more fair, common-sense approach to business while also protecting employees and patrons by adhering to federal standards,” said Struzzi. “The General Assembly has taken steps to safely operate during the emergency by having employees work from home and allowing members to work remotely. We need to give Pennsylvania’s businesses the same flexibility to modify their operations and continue to work safely.”

Also amended and passed by the House was Senate Bill 841. This bill would:

• Require the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) to gather information regarding the COVID-19 response and impacts with a goal of using the information to secure more federal money to aid in our recover efforts.
• Allow counties and municipalities the option to extend property tax discount periods and/or waive penalties and late fees.
• Allow businesses that apply to participate in educational tax credits to delay contributions until the end of the year.
• Allow school districts to reopen discussions with contractors.
• Allow local government boards, agencies and commissions to meet through authorized telecommunication devices for the duration of the emergency.

House Bill 1189, the third COVID-19 bill passed by the House, includes the following provisions:

• Department of Health (DOH) Demographics Report: Requires health care facilities to notify DOH electronically with certain demographic data within three days of diagnosis – DOH will then be required to publish publicly accessible reports with extensive cases stats broken down by zip code.
• Extension of Benefits for First Responders: Extends benefits for an employee subject to Act 193 of 1935, commonly referred to as the Enforcement Officer Disability Benefits Law or the Heart & Lung Act, who contracts or is diagnosed with, or is in quarantine due to exposure to, the novel coronavirus identified in the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency.
• Extensions for PennDOT Renewals: Extends the expiration for renewals for a driver’s licenses, disability parking placards and vehicle registrations.
• Volunteer Emergency Responders Employer Tax Credit: Establishes the Volunteer Emergency Responders Employer Tax Credit program for employers who allow an employee who serves with a volunteer emergency service organization to respond to an emergency call during work hours.

“The actions we took this week will provide hope for Pennsylvania’s future when all of this is said and done,” Struzzi continued. “There is no reason that we cannot find a balance between protecting the health and safety of Pennsylvanians while also taking steps to put our economy in the best possible position to bounce back.”

Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Kevin DiGuiseppe
717.260.6419 (office), 610.937.4679 (cell)
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