Four at 4 Weekly Recap

Week of June 29 through July 2, 2020

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Top Stories of the Week:

June 29, 2020

1. The Penn Capital-Star examines the stopgap budget.

While the majority of the stopgap budget recently passed by the General Assembly remained the same as the previous year’s budget, there are a few differences. The Penn Capital-Star is highlighting a few of the differences in this two part analysis.

2. Allegheny County has seen four straight days of an increased cases.

As counties begin to open up, we are starting to see a few county cases increasing again. Philadelphia is already hesitant to reopen, and now Allegheny is prohibiting the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption.

3. Pennsylvania Small Business Grant Program launching tomorrow.

Small mom and pop businesses, hurt by COVID-19, can begin applying for grant funding from the commonwealth on June 30. Grant funding, supplied from CARES Funding, depends on annual revenue of the business.

4. President Trumps’ Campaign is suing PA over mail-in voting.

The lawsuit, filed against the Department of State and all 67 boards of election, focuses on several topics. Specifically, the Governor’s order to extend the time for ballots to be received by mail and unsecured ballot drop boxes. 

June 30, 2020

1. Three Mile Island is being dismantled, but who is paying for it?

Apparently, the funding will be coming from the Decommissioning Trust Fund, which is funded by fees on utility customers.

2. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is struggling to maintain field inspections on Superfund sites.

With 91 Superfund sites throughout the Commonwealth, the DEP is attempting to maintain the same testing schedule for air and quality testing.

3. While rental assistance is on the way – evictions could start before the relief arrives.

A $150 million rental assistance program will begin accepting applications on July 6, however the Governor’s order on eviction moratorium’s ends on July 10.

4. Unemployment Compensation extended 13 more weeks.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry announced that individuals who exhaust their regular unemployment, and federal unemployment may be able to qualify for an additional 13 weeks of benefits.

July 1, 2020

1.Information on Multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children after being exposed to COVID-19.

MIS-C is typically found in patients 8 years of age, after being exposed to COVID-19. Many of the children had fevers, gastrointestinal symptoms, rashes and red tongues.

2. While President Trump threatens a veto, Senator Toomey argues for a new weapon against the opioid epidemic.

The President is threatening to veto the annual funding bill for the Pentagon due to language that would require the Department of Defense changes the name of installations named after Confederate leaders. However, Senator Toomey is pushing the President to sign the bill, which would withhold foreign aid to governments that don’t help reduce fentanyl trafficking.

3. General Assembly may allow larger cities to opt out of fireworks laws, and limited individual use.

In 2017, the General Assembly relaxed firework regulations throughout the Commonwealth and allowing individuals to purchase and launch fireworks that comply with federal law.

4. Governor Wolf signs criminal justice reform bill for skilled workers with criminal records.

The bill, SB637, eliminates outdated barriers to employment for skilled workers with criminal records attempting to earn certain occupational licenses.

July 2, 2020

1.Pennsylvania ends fiscal year with a $3.2 billion budget shortfall.

With COVID-19 constraining Pennsylvania’s economy over the past months, revenues fell roughly 9% below the official estimates.

2. Are COVID-19 cases climbing again?

COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania are on the raise again, with the state reporting an increase of 832 case, the highest in several weeks.

3. Lt. Governor John Fetterman: Thursday’s case county increase is truly alarming.

Along the same vein as the article above, officials across the Commonwealth are expressing concern on the increase case counts in Allegheny County.

4. With Governor Wolf’s new order, when should you wear a mask?

Governor Wolf’s new order requires individuals to wear masks in all public places, outside, or with anyone that you don’t live with.

Top Press Releases of the Week:

June 29, 2020

1. Wolf Administration: CARES Act Funding for Small Businesses Available Tomorrow

2. Rent and Mortgage Relief Applications Released

3. Wolf Administration Announces Strategy to Ease Long-Term Care Facility Restrictions through Gradual Three-Step Process to Protect Vulnerable Populations

4. DCNR Seeking Online Public Input on Pennsylvania’s Public and Private Forests

June 30, 2020

1. AG Shapiro Announces Partnership Aimed To Unlock $100M in Student Loan Savings for All Pennsylvanians during By COVID-19 Pandemic

2. Ciresi, O’Neal call for investigation into unemployment system failures

3. Wolf Administration Announces Expansion of Program Supplying Free Sunscreen at State Park Beaches throughout Pennsylvania

4. Department of Health Launches COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard

July 1, 2020

1. Gov. Wolf: Sec. of Health Signs Expanded Mask-Wearing Order

2. Pennsylvania Restaurants and Bars Required to Protect Workers and Patrons during COVID-19

3. Senator Corman: Independent Studies Show Environmental Impact, Cost of Single-Use Plastic Bag Bans

4. State Legislators Discuss a Just Recovery for Pennsylvania in Telephone Town Hall

July 2, 2020

1. Gov. Wolf: ‘Wear a mask, Pennsylvania’

2. DEP Releases Draft Report on Statewide Water Quality

3. Wolf Administration Urges Pennsylvanians to Avoid Large Gatherings, Wear Masks over Holiday Weekend

4. Gov. Wolf: More Than $2 Million in Grants for Employment Services for Individuals with Opioid Use Disorder

Written by

Ridge Policy Group

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