Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Contact 90.5 WESA with a story idea or news tip: news@wesa.fm

Pennsylvania Governor To Sign $912M Pandemic Relief Bill

Gov. Tom Wolf will sign legislation approved Friday by lawmakers that carries over $900 million in pandemic-driven aid for hard-hit hospitality businesses, private schools and people struggling to pay rent or utility bills.

Both chambers passed the bill unanimously Friday and Wolf's office said he will sign it. In addition to distributing money, the bill carries a provision designed to clear up any uncertainty over whether federal pandemic aid, including Paycheck Protection Program loans and direct federal payments to taxpayers, are taxable as income in Pennsylvania. It is not, under the bill.

Most of the $912 million being allocated in the bill is federal aid approved by Congress in December.

Some of it, $145 million, is cash from a state worker’s compensation fund that Wolf asked lawmakers to send to businesses hit hard by the pandemic.

The money would be available through counties in grants of up to $50,000 for bars, restaurants and hotels with under 300 employees, although industry representatives say the cash won’t reach many of the 30,000 such businesses that remain under pandemic restrictions in Pennsylvania.

The majority of the money, $570 million, would be divided up to counties based on population to help people struggling to pay rent or utilities. Landlords and tenants would be eligible to apply.

The rest of the money, $197 million, would be distributed to private schools and other educational institutions that did not get a cut of the $2.2 billion in federal coronavirus aid that public schools and charter schools are receiving under December's package.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.
To make informed decisions, the public must receive unbiased truth.

As Southwestern Pennsylvania’s only independent public radio news and information station, we give voice to provocative ideas that foster a vibrant, informed, diverse and caring community.

WESA is primarily funded by listener contributions. Your financial support comes with no strings attached. It is free from commercial or political influence…that’s what makes WESA a free vital community resource. Your support funds important local journalism by WESA and NPR national reporters.

You give what you can, and you get news you can trust.
Please give now to continue providing fact-based journalism — a monthly gift of just $5 or $10 makes a big difference.