On March 27th, President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion bipartisan stimulus package to help all Americans through the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals will receive assistance through expanded unemployment coverage, changes to federal student loans, and payments up to $1,200 for individual citizens with Social Security Numbers.
Single adults who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will get the full $1,200. For every child under the age of 16 who is claimed as a dependent, an additional $500 will be received. Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less will receive a total of $2,400. Taxpayers filing as head of household will get the full payment if they earned $112,500 or less in 2019. Above those income figures, the payment decreases until it stops altogether for single people earning $99,000 or married people who have no children and earn up to $198,000.
Distribution to individuals and families of this stimulus money is based on the filing of one’s 2019 federal income tax form.
Those who receive Social Security are still eligible for this stimulus distribution.
Federal Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expects these checks to go out within three weeks.
I, Senator Williams, will be introducing legislation entitled “Pennsylvania Common Wealth Fund” that would allow those who receive federal stimulus money the option to have it redistributed to those more in need then themselves. This restricted account would give Pennsylvanian’s the option to redistribute stimulus money to state programs such as property tax & rent rebates, temporary assistance for needy families, CHIP or medical assistance.
Pennsylvania’s primary election has officially been moved to June 2, 2020. In joining 11 other states and Washington, D.C. in delaying our primary election, voters in Pennsylvania will now have more time to vote by mail, for polling locations to shift based on needs and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to give election officials time to make any necessary changes to keep voters safe as they exercise their right to vote.
Those already registered to vote can apply to vote by mail here with their valid driver’s license number or PennDOT issued photo ID.
Due to increasing uncertainty we face, voting by mail is a great way to continue to exercise your right to vote, but continue to stay safe and stay home.
All mail in ballot application must be received by your county’s election office by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.
For all other questions about voting and the upcoming elections, visit votespa.com.
Small Business Relief Fund
The small business community has been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the order by Governor Tom Wolf to only allow “life-sustaining” businesses to remain open.
In response to this, Governor Wolf has announced that funding for small businesses will be available through multiple channels. The COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program (CWCA) will have $100 million to provide loans up to $100,000 for businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees. The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) also authorized making $60 million available to provide loans of $100,000 or less to for-profit businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees.
Funding for these programs will be available in the coming weeks. Applications for those in Philadelphia County can be found here, applications for those in Delaware County can be found here, and applications for all counties in Pennsylvania can be found here.
PA AG Wants You to Report Price Gouging
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has asked consumers and businesses to report instances of price gouging. Under rules governing a disaster emergency, companies and vendors are prohibited from charging a price for consumer goods that exceeds 20% of the average price to which those goods / services were sold 7 days preceding the date of emergency declaration.
As of March 30, the Attorney General’s office has received over 3,000 reports of price gouging across the state.
If you see price gouging occurring in your community you can submit a complaint to the Attorney General’s office here. You can also email their office at email@example.com and provide the name of the product, price of the product, name of the store and the location of the store.
Filing for Unemployment Compensation
If you are employed in Pennsylvania and are unable to work because of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), you may be eligible for Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation benefits
NOTICE to those applying for Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefits: Please be patient – the UC team is processing as many claims as possible. Please do not submit/reopen a new claim if you have already filed one. Your claim may not be processed due to a high volume. File online: www.uc.pa.gov
Effective Monday, March 30, Philadelphia residents impacted by the COVID-19 crisis can pick up a free box food for their household at several locations throughout the city, thanks to support from the City, Philabundance, and Share Food Program.
These sites will be open from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (noon) on Mondays and Thursdays.
About the food sites:
- Sites are open Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
- Residents can pick up one box per household. Supplies will last up to five days.
- Residents do not need to present an ID or proof of income for eligibility
The full list of sites and an updated interactive map are online here: https://www.phila.gov/2020-03-28-where-to-find-free-nutritious-food-during-covid-19/
Lyft Providing Free Rides for Seniors
Lyft is offering FREE rides for seniors to and from their homes during morning shopping hours (7:30-8:30 a.m.) through April 1. Older adults are at a greater risk of severe illness if they contract coronavirus. As a result, Fresh Grocer/ShopRite stores have set aside early morning hours so that seniors can shop safely.
Fresh Grocer/ShopRite locations in the region offering this promotion include:
- The Fresh Grocer of Wyncote, Montgomery County
- ShopRite of Brooklawn, Camden County, NJ
- ShopRite of 24th & Oregon, Philadelphia
- ShopRite of Island Ave, Philadelphia
- ShopRite of Bensalem, Bucks County
To get the FREE ride enter code SHOPRITERIDE on the LYFT App. To participate, the rider needs to be at least 60 years of age and rides will be valid up to five miles from each participating location.
Telephone Townhalls – Stay Up to Date on the Latest COVID-19 Information
On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. I will be hosting a Telephone Townhall to discuss updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus.
I will be joined by Kevin Madden – Delaware County Councilmember, Jamie Gauthier – Philadelphia Councilmember, as well as Rachel Gallegos and Kadeem Morris of Community Legal Services who will be speaking about housing issues.
To sign up to attend my Telephone Townhall, text SENAHWILLIAMS to 833-TXT-LIVE (833-898-5483). You can also listen live on your phone, computer, or tablet at vekeo.com/senatoranthonyhwilliams
To submit questions online for the Telephone Townhall, visit senatoranthonyhwilliams.com/telephone-townhall
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