Happy Friday. I hope you and your family have a chance to get outside this weekend and enjoy the beautiful weather. Many local restaurants are offering outdoor dining and local retailers and farmer’s markets are reopening. Support them if you’re able – and don’t forget your masks!
This email includes information on a new statewide small business grant program, my response to HR 836, police reform updates, and community resources.
Visit www.senatorcollett.com/coronavirus for additional COVID-19 resources. You can also contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a message at 215-368-1429 for assistance. My team and I are happy to help in any way we can. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest.
Wash your hands, wear your mask, and stay well.
Senator Maria Collett
12th Senatorial District
New Statewide Small Business Assistance Grants
This week, the Department for Community and Economic Development (DCED) released guidance for a new Statewide Small Business Assistance Grant Program. The grant programs were developed in partnership between the PA Legislature and the Wolf Administration using federal CARES Act funding.
Funding will be distributed through three programs:
- $100 million for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program
- $100 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program
- $25 million for loan payment deferment and loss reserves for loans impacted by COVID-19.
All businesses must apply through an eligible Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). For a list of CDFIs, click here. Although applications are not being accepted yet, there are things businesses can do to get ready:
- Collect your business’s financials and tax returns and prepare a business plan for reopening. We expect the CDFIs to begin taking applications by the end of June.
- Please contact our office at email@example.com to let us know if you are planning to apply or if you need assistance.
Why I Voted to Preserve the Governor’s Emergency Declaration
Thank you to all of you who shared your stories and opinions in favor and against HR 836, which would end Governor Wolf's emergency declaration related to COVID-19. I spend every day and night thinking of how to best help you, your families, and your businesses weather this unprecedented storm.
After much consideration, I voted no on HR 836 because there is no evidence whether and for how long the Trump administration plans to keep the federal emergency declaration in place. Absent that guarantee, I chose to vote against a bill that would eliminate benefits and protections to which Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians are entitled during this ongoing public health crisis. You can read more about my reasoning here.
Legislative Steps to Address Racism in PA
As the nationwide movement to end systemic racism forges ahead, we must go beyond words of support and push for concrete legislative action. One of the many systems we must rethink and reform is law enforcement. This week, the PA Senate Democratic Caucus announced a package of bills to reform policing practices. This includes legislation to improve municipal police officer education and training (SB 458); ban police chokeholds and set specific limits on the use of deadly force (“8 Can’t Wait” Bill Memo); prevent sexual assaults of those in police custody (SB 851); and more.
Beyond police reform, I am working with my colleague Senator Vincent Hughes to reintroduce – and finally move – legislation that would allow a member of the General Assembly to request a racial impact statement on any piece of legislation. Legislators have the right to understand a bill's fiscal impact before casting their vote. So too should they understand whether a bill could have inequitable or unjust consequences on Black and brown Pennsylvanians.
These bills are just the start. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org with your policy ideas as we continue to develop legislation that confronts racial injustice in our Commonwealth.
Save the Date: Policy Hearing on Rebuilding PA’s Food Supply Chain
Next Thursday, June 18, I will be hosing a virtual policy hearing to discuss how we can rebuild Pennsylvania’s food supply chain post-COVID-19. The idea for this discussion was brought to me by constituent business Clemens’ Food Group/Hatfield Meats. Join us as we hear from local industry experts and talk about potential policy solutions. The hearing will be streamed live on Facebook and shared on my page at 11am.
Local PA Board Appointees
I’d like to congratulate two constituents on their recent state board appointments: Dr. Christine Roussel was appointed to the Pennsylvania Pharmacy Board and Mr. Aram Piligian was appointed to the PA State Architects Licensure Board. They are two of many examples of the deep and diverse group of talented individuals living in the 12th District, and I know they will be excellent additions to their respective boards and serve our residents well.
Dr. Roussel is an Upper Moreland resident who is the Director of Pharmacy at Doylestown Hospital. It was Dr. Roussel who launched Doylestown Hospital's procurement of sterilization equipment during this COVID crisis to enable N95 mask reuse.
Mr. Piligian lives in Harleysville and has worked as an esteemed architect in PA for nearly 30 years. He has also been selected to serve on the Technical Advisory Committee to review Pennsylvania’s Uniform Construction Code.
Have Your Regular Unemployment Benefits Expired?
If your regular unemployment compensation benefits have expired, you could be eligible for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. PEUC is a temporary federal program that provides 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits to qualified individuals whose regular unemployment benefits were exhausted on or after July 6, 2019. You must wait for your regular unemployment benefits to expire before applying for PEUC.
Learn more here, and contact our office at email@example.com or 215-368-1429 with any unemployment-related questions.
Take the PA Department of Aging Survey
The PA Department of Aging is encouraging adults of all ages to take their 2020-2024 Community Stakeholder Survey, and especially those 60 and older. Your response will help the department build a four-year plan that best reflects the needs of older Pennsylvanians. The survey only takes 5-10 minutes to complete and will be available until June 21. Please consider participating! Take the survey here.
Additional COVID-19 Resources
Looking for assistance? Want to share your thoughts on legislation or community issues? You may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 215-368-1429 if we can be of service.
Stay up-to-date by ‘liking’ my Facebook page and following me on Twitter and Instagram.
Offices of State Senator Maria Collett
All offices are temporarily closed to visitors due to COVID-19.
|North Wales Office
Gwynedd Corporate Center
1180 Welsh Road |
North Wales, PA 19454
1410 W. Street Road
Warminster, PA 18974
183 Capitol Building
Senate Box 203012
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3012