I am writing with my weekly District Update.
The Pandemic Response
Beginning last Friday, June 5th, Bucks County and the remainder of the state moved to the yellow phase of re-opening.
While in the yellow phase, it’s important that we wear a mask and practice social distancing when going out. We also should continue to wash our hands often and thoroughly and regularly clean surfaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
According to the Governor’s office, the Department of Health is closely monitoring the rate of new cases in Bucks County while we remain in the yellow phase. If after 14 days of being in yellow we are able to continue to mitigate the spread of the virus, we will then be moved into the green phase. So, hopefully, if we can avoid a spike in new cases, by June 19th or shortly thereafter, we will move into green. We will continue to keep you advised.
Join Our Facebook Live Town Hall on 6/12
My next live Facebook Town Hall will be Friday, June 12th at 4:30 PM. To join the conversation, visit my Facebook page on Friday at that time. To receive a notification of when the event starts, and any other time I go live, you can “like” my Facebook page.
$225M Grant Program for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
I am pleased to share that the state budget allocated $225 million in grant programs for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The money originated from the federal CARES Act and will be distributed by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which will then administer the funding in the form of grants.
Eligible businesses will be able to use the grants to cover operating expenses as they transition to re-opening, and for technical assistance including training and guidance for business owners as they stabilize and relaunch their businesses.
More information, including how to apply for these grants, will be available in the coming days. I hope to have more details to share on my Facebook Town Hall at 4:30 PM on Friday, June 12th.
Unemployment Update on Payment via ReliaCard
The Pennsylvania Treasury Department and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) continue to make enhancements and adjustments to their processing of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and PUA-related Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits payments in order to minimize the negative impact of recent, multistate fraud associated with those payments, and reduce the waiting period for the delivery of future payments to unemployed Pennsylvania workers.
Starting June 9, PUA and PUA-related FPUC claimants who already have US Bank ReliaCards will receive their benefits in the form of deposits to those cards. ReliaCards will be mailed to claimants who do not currently have cards, and those claimants will begin receiving benefit payments on the cards starting on approximately June 16. Payments will no longer be issued by paper check except upon request.
If you are currently receiving PUA or PUA-related FPUC payments and do not have a US Bank ReliaCard, please look for a plain, white envelope with your new ReliaCard. It should arrive between June 16 and June 21 and will be marked with an Indianapolis postmark. Please do not destroy or throw this envelope away.
Once all PUA claimants have received a ReliaCard, they should expect to receive benefits, including the extra $600 per week provided by the FPUC program, as an electronic payment to their ReliaCard. No other form of unemployment compensation or associated FPUC payments will be affected, at this time.
Preliminary Guidance on High School and Other Summer Sports
The Governor has released initial guidance on high school and other summer sports in the yellow and green phase of re-opening. Gatherings of all participants, including players, athletic staff, officials, and spectators are limited to 25 in the yellow phase and 250, or 50 percent capacity, in the green phase.
Summer Recreation Guidance
PA CareerLink Employment Opportunities
Pennsylvania CareerLink has created an online portal for those who have lost their job due to COVID-19. Employers across the state are hiring thousands of new employees for critical roles. If you are currently seeking employment opportunities, please check out the PA CareerLink website.
Round of Applause
This week’s round of applause goes to our 2020 high school graduates. I know that many schools are beginning their virtual graduation ceremonies this week to honor the class of 2020. I would like to congratulate each and every graduate. You have accomplished so much throughout your high school careers. And while I know these last three months have been hard, you should be proud of what you have accomplished. You are entering an exciting chapter in your lives and I have no doubt that your future will be bright despite our current challenges. Once again, congratulations!
Do you know of a business or individual who is going above and beyond during these unprecedented times to help others? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured in our District Update or on our social media pages.
Please visit the district newsroom to view additional stories, videos, and photos from across the district and the commonwealth.
You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more regular updates.
Offices of State Senator Steve Santarsiero
All offices are temporarily closed to visitors due to COVID-19.
2003 Lower State Road
Building 100, Suite 121
Doylestown, PA 18901
3 Terry Drive
Newtown, PA 18940
184 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203010
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3010
|TULLYTOWN SATELLITE OFFICE
500 Main Street
Tullytown, PA 19007
Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM