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Gov. Wolf signs $912 million COVID-19 relief bill

The Senate’s COVID-19 relief bill providing funds for rental assistance and the struggling hospitality industry was signed by Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday afternoon.

The $912 million package is made up mostly of funds given to the state through Congress’ COVID Relief Bill passed in December and provides funds to restaurants, schools, employers, tenants and landlords.

The Senate approved the bill late last month, and a modified version of that bill was approved by the House today. The amended measure was quickly passed this afternoon by the Senate.

The new law allocates allocates $145 million to the state’s hospitality industry, which Wolf made available in December through a transfer from the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund at the state Insurance Department to the General Fund.

“Business owners and employees have worked hard to protect their customers and their communities during this pandemic,” Gov Wolf said in a statement on Friday. “But the pandemic has been hard on businesses, and they need and deserve our support.

“That’s why I made this funding available back in December, and I applaud the General Assembly for sending this bill to my desk,” he said. “We need to get this money into the hands of the Pennsylvania business owners who need it as fast as possible.”

The bill also allocates $569.8 million for rental and utility assistance and $197 million for education programs.

Funding for the Rental and Utility Assistance program would be provided by federal Coronavirus stimulus money and would be divided up to counties by population size.

Ioannis Pashakis
Ioannis Pashakis covers health care, the gig economy, cannabis and technology. Email him at ipashakis@bridgetowermedia.com.

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