May. 16, 2020 / Weekly Roundup

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#Listrak\DateStamplong# The latest news from the State Capitol
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Voter Registration Deadline is Monday, May 18

In our response to COVID-19, the House passed legislation to reschedule Pennsylvania’s primary election to Tuesday, June 2. As a result, this Monday, May 18, is the last day to register to vote.

You can check on your voter registration status by visiting the Department of State’s voter services webpage.  

As part of this legislation to reschedule the primary election, we also made it easier for counties to consolidate and make changes to polling locations due to COVID-19.

As you prepare to vote on June 2, it’s a good idea to check your county’s polling locations for any changes.

Lackawanna County voters, click here. 

Luzerne County voters, click here.  

Wyoming County voters, click here.
Emergency Assistance Now Available for Low-Income Families

Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller recently announced an Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) to help low-income families who lost wages experiencing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Families who qualify will be eligible for a one-time payment to assist them in meeting basic needs and help them secure more stable financial footing in the future.

The program will use existing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds to provide support to low-income families who qualify. The program will be open to families with a child under the age of 18 or a woman who is currently pregnant. In order to qualify, families must have at least one person in the household who was employed as of March 11, 2020, and experienced an hour or wage reduction of at least 50%for two weeks or more or lost employment entirely due to the public health crisis.

Families must meet income limits of 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and have no more than $1,000 in a savings or checking account.

Pennsylvanians can apply for Medicaid, the EAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other public assistance programs at any time through DHS’ online COMPASS application at
Wolf Signs Executive Order Barring Foreclosures, Evictions Through July 10

Gov. Tom Wolf recently signed an executive order that protects Pennsylvanians from foreclosures or evictions through July 10. The action builds on a Pennsylvania Supreme Court order which closed court eviction proceedings until May 11 and ensures no renter or homeowner will be removed from their home for 60 more days.

In almost all circumstances, renters and homeowners are required to continue making monthly payments. If you are a Pennsylvanian struggling to make your monthly payments, you should contact your landlord or mortgage servicer immediately.

The Wolf Administration previously issued recommendations to stem foreclosures and evictions, and help Pennsylvanians experiencing homelessness. The Department of Human Services activated the Commonwealth’s Sheltering Task Force and is working with local and state partners to coordinate resources for people without housing. The Department of Community and Economic Development is also accepting applications for Emergency Solutions Grants to assist with the rapid rehousing of people experiencing homelessness, street outreach, homelessness prevention, and emergency shelter activities.
PennDOT to Use Existing Photos for License, ID Card Renewals

In an effort to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced this week that the department will use existing photos on file for customers who renew their driver’s license and identification card.

Non-commercial driver’s license and photo ID card holders may renew their product online, if there are no corrections or changes other than a change of address. Both non-commercial and commercial drivers may renew their products through the mail.

All customers who renew their driver’s license or photo ID card online or through the mail will receive a new product using the most recent photo that exists in PennDOT’s system. No new camera cards will be issued, so the renewal process is complete when the final product is received. Driver’s licenses and identification cards will be mailed within 15 days of renewal.

Individuals who renewed their product on or before May 10 will still receive a camera card in the mail and will need to visit a PennDOT Photo License Center to obtain an updated photo. PennDOT will continue to send an invitation to renew to each driver three months prior to license expiration.

Visit for more information.
Local Businesses, Take the COVID-19 Recovery Business Survey
My office received the following information from the Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission (NTRPDC).  

The NTRPDC and PA CareerLink are seeking input from local businesses to determine how to they can best assist employers in our area recover from the economic effects of COVID-19.

The commission has released a brief survey for business owners. NTRPDC and PA CareerLink will use feedback from this survey to formulate a regional recovery plan.

You can respond to the survey here. 
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133 West Tioga Street, Suite 4, Tunkhannock, PA 18657 | Phone: (570) 836-4777
41-B East Wing, Main Capitol, PO Box 202117, Harrisburg PA 17120-2117 | Phone: (717) 787-1117