HARRISBURG – APRIL 29, 2020 – State Senators Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) and Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) unveiled the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus’ plan to allocate federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds Wednesday morning.
The Pennsylvania CARES Plan offers a set of spending priorities to best use the $3.9 billion in federal CARES ACT funding the commonwealth is set to receive. A major focus of the PA CARES Plan is funding initiatives that help individuals and families, such as housing assistance programs, student debt relief, veterans’ assistance, utility assistance, and food bank support.
“Our communities are hurting. Our friends and neighbors have been sick or isolated, and we’ve lost many to the COVID-19 virus,” Sen. Costa said. “As we begin to recover, we need a plan that works for everyone — particularly working families. Our strategy must get folks back on their feet and back work. We intend to focus on assistance for working people, protection for front line workers, investments in education and childcare, and loans and programs that will enable our small business community to reopen their doors and thrive again.”
Other aspects of the proposal include allocating additional assistance to frontline workers, funding for the health care industry and its workers, small business grants, and much-needed support communities disparately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. School districts and local governments would also receive support to help offset pandemic-related expenses.
“We want to lay a foundation for recovery that prioritizes the people of Pennsylvania and supports those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic,” Sen. Hughes said. “Our plan would help resuscitate the communities across the commonwealth by providing resources for workers, families and small businesses. We will get through this crisis together by supporting our people and communities, which are the backbone of our great commonwealth.”
Highlights of the PA CARES plan include:
- $1.1 billion for assistance for working people
- $900 million for education and childcare initiatives
- $650 million for health care industry, first responders & frontline workers assistance
- $425 million for small businesses
- $350 million for local government assistance
- $300 million for historically disadvantaged communities
The Senate Democrats’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic remains focused on helping working people, families and Pennsylvania’s small businesses. Members of the caucus have a number of proposals to address COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts in Pennsylvania.