In This Update:
Letter to the Governor
My district offices have been inundated with calls, emails and messages in opposition to Governor Tom Wolf’s arbitrary and unfair proposal carving the state into six areas. The 35th District does not belong with the urban areas they have been linked to. I stand with my constituents and will continue to push back on this administration to develop an appropriate plan forward for our District. I sent him the above letter today.
May 1 Statewide Reopening of Limited Outdoor Recreational Activities
The Governor just announced starting Friday, May 1, golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds may reopen statewide and are required to follow updated life-sustaining business guidance and FAQ issued by the Wolf Administration to include specifics for how these outdoor recreational industries can resume activities while prioritizing public health and safety. Campgrounds in state parks will remain closed through Thursday, May 14.
Additional Paycheck Protection Program Funds Released
Update for Small Business Owners. Due to additional funds being released to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, the SBA has reopened the application process. For more information and how to apply for these programs, please visit www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options.
PennDOT Will Reopen a Limited Number of Driver License Centers That Will Provide Commercial Driver Licensing (CDL) Services
PennDOT will reopen Driver License Centers in Somerset, Allentown, Selinsgrove and Yeagertown to provide limited CDL services by appointment only beginning on Tuesday, April 28th. Available services will include CDL knowledge and skills testing, hazmat renewals and security threat assessments. Individuals seeking CDL testing should call PennDOT’s Call Center at (717) 412-5300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an appointment.
Deadline Extended to Apply for PHEAA State Grants Until May 15; Loan Forbearance Available
In response to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has extended the deadline for college students to apply for state grants from May 1 to May 15 for the 2020-21 academic year. The new deadline applies both to renewals and first-time applicants.
More information on how to apply for state grants and how the coronavirus will impact state grant and special loan programs is available on PHEAA’s website.
In addition, the agency recently offered a three-month forbearance on all PHEAA-owned private loans for borrowers affected by COVID-19. More details are available here. Borrowers must contact their loan servicer, American Education Services (AES), in order to request this forbearance. The AES COVID-19 webpage includes more information about options for borrowers to postpone payments for both federal and private student loans.
Guidelines Available for Construction Industry Reopening
Following Governor Wolf’s announcement that the construction industry can resume normal operations on May 1, the Department of Health extended guidelines to ensure these employers can operate in a way that minimizes the risk of spreading COVID-19.
The guidelines include cleaning frequently touched surfaces, providing sufficient distance between employees, staggering breaks and shifts, providing masks for employees and more. The full list of guidelines is available here.
Mental Health Resources Available for Pennsylvanians in Need
The coronavirus public health emergency has created a great deal of stress and anxiety throughout the state. A number of mental health resources are available to help Pennsylvanians who are struggling during these challenging times.
An overview of mental health resources for state residents is available here. Resources are also available through the Crisis Text Line by texting “PA” to 741-741.
Essential Court Functions Still Available for Older Pennsylvanians
Although the courts remain closed for most purposes during COVID-19, essential functions are still being provided to protect seniors. This includes temporary protection from abuse actions, guardianship defense, motions related to public health concerns, emergency petitions and other functions determined by a president judge to be essential.
More details on essential court functions that are still available are detailed here.
Curbside Delivery Expanded to More PLCB Stores
Beginning this week, more Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores throughout the state will begin offering curbside pickup service for customers. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) released a new list of stores offering this service.
Orders are limited to a total of six bottles per order, and customers must call ahead and pay with a credit card over the phone. Orders are filled on a first-call, first-served basis. Voicemail orders will not be accepted. Many frequently asked questions about curbside pickup and online ordering are answered here.
Expiration Dates Extended for Many Temporary Professional Licenses and Permits
At the outset of the pandemic, the Department of State extended the expiration dates for several types of professional licenses and permits. Several other temporary permits were recently added to the list, including physical therapy, respiratory therapy, genetic counseling, massage therapy and many more.
A complete list of temporary licenses and permits that have been extended is available here.
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