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PA Lawmakers Have No Plan Yet For How $7 Billion in COVID Relief Can Be Spent By Newtown & Other Townships. But Maybe You Do!

PA Lawmakers Have No Plan Yet For How $7 Billion in COVID Relief Can Be Spent By Newtown & Other Townships. But Maybe You Do! | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

Pennsylvania will receive more than $7 billion in COVID relief next week, but there's no plan yet on how to spend the money from the American Rescue Plan.

 

Many state residents have already received their $1,400 stimulus checks, but there's more money on the way in the form of state aid that the Legislature will decide how to spend.

 

Because the General Assembly has not passed a plan to distribute the funds, residents in need are waiting for rent relief and money that could help save small businesses, some lawmakers said.

 

Democratic legislators have introduced their own Pennsylvania Rescue Plan, which would distribute the $7.3 billion of federal help to schools, workers, businesses, families, renters, landlords and more.

 

Republican lawmakers, who hold the majority in the state Legislature, have not released a plan to distribute the funds.

 

The majority party faced backlash last year when it used rent relief funds to fill a budget hole.

 

Now, because of previous federal stimulus money, Pennsylvania has a $600 million surplus.

 

With no budget holes to fill, Democrats are hoping the Republican-led Legislature will support Gov. Tom Wolf's spending plan. But so far, there hasn't been much of an appetite among Republicans to even acquiesce to the governor's priorities.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

NOTE: Newtown Township’s allocation of these funds is anticipated to be $1,936,231. The Township should have ½ of the Township’s funds by June 9, 2021. The State will have it by May 10, 2021 and it has 30 days to distribute to municipalities. The second half will come before March 11, 2022.

 

What Can That Money Be Spent On?

See below, then tell me what SHOULD That Money Be Spent On. TAKE MY SURVEY: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3D659HL

There are several suggestions and recommendations already being put forward by groups such as the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, such as:

 

  • Response to COVID-19 emergency or negative economic impacts. This includes, but is not limited to, assistance for households, small businesses, non-profits (including volunteer fire companies whose fundraising may have taken a hit during COVID-19), and aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality.
  • Premium pay for essential workers. Can pay a bonus to workers. Up to $25K each. Could be paid in a lump sum as long as you don’t violate $13/hour rule. Public and private employees. “Essential workers only”. Backpay is most likely ok. Fire Company block grants, police - ok.
  • Lost revenue replacement. The revenue deficit must be as a direct result of COVID-19, and could apply from 2020 through 2024. 2019 is used as the “base year” with which to compare revenues. Applies to tax revenue, liquid fuels, etc.
  • Infrastructure investment. Drinking water, storm water, sewer, broadband hot spots, but you can’t spend it on roads and bridges. Roads and bridges may come in the fall.
  • Can use for construction for larger meeting space or technology for remote meetings.
  • If Township-owned parks were impacted due to COVID-19 (more use), you could use to repair/maintain them.
  • If you can link the proposed use to an impact caused by COVID-19, then it is most likely a permissible use.
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Newtown News of Interest
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources that may be of interest to Newtown area residents. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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