Black Lives Matter Reforms Pass Legislature
This week, the first round of criminal justice reforms resulting from the Black Lives Matter protests passed the legislature. Governor Wolf will sign both measures:
- House Bill 1841 creates an electronic database of law enforcement officer separation records. Agencies will be required to use this database when hiring.
- House Bill 1910 requires new training to help law enforcement officers identify child abuse. It also requires Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder evaluations of officers within 30 days of lethal force incidents.
Additionally, people with criminal records will have fewer barriers when seeking professional licenses for work. Until this week, the Commonwealth’s 29 occupational licensing boards were able to deny licenses for certain past criminal histories. Senate Bill 637, signed yesterday by Governor Wolf, changes those rules.
Progress has begun, but we have more work to do. For more proposed legislation, visit www.senatorhaywood.com/racialjustice. To demand change, text BLM to 787753.
We must continue the march for justice. Please see this video from Northumberland County of protesters standing strong and peaceful against confrontation.
Green Phase Transition Update
This week, Governor Wolf ordered all Pennsylvanians to wear a mask outside the home.
Philadelphia has also modified its transition to the green phase. Gyms and indoor dining will remain off limits until at least August 1st. People who come into the city from hot-spot states are urged to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Please continue social distancing, avoid large gatherings when possible, wash your hands regularly, and wear a mask. We must protect our community, and each other.
Housing Relief Programs Open
My housing relief programs for rental and mortgage assistance are open at PHFA. Renters and homeowners can apply for the CARES Rent Relief Program (RPP) and CARES Pandemic Mortgage Assistance Program (PMAP).
Renters must submit 3 applications: a lessee household certification-renter application, a landlord application, and a landlord-property certification. Starting July 6th, you can mail applications and supporting documentation to these county agencies:
For homeowners, the fastest way to apply is the online PMAP application. The online application is available now, but the option to submit online will not be active until July 6th. A paper application can also be mailed to the appropriate county agency.
PHFA’s call center is available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1-855-827-3466. I fought for this much-needed funding in recent budget negotiations. Please apply, if needed.
Small Business Grants Open
On Tuesday, the $225 million COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance program opened for its first round of applications. Businesses can apply through a participating Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) at www.pabusinessgrants.com.
The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. on July 14th. Future rounds of applications will be offered if funding is still available. The program is not first-come, first-served, although I encourage interested parties to apply before July 14th.
Governor Wolf’s Emergency Order Prevails in Court
On Wednesday, the PA Supreme Court upheld Governor Wolf’s COVID-19 emergency disaster order. As a result, the statewide evictions moratorium will continue until July 10th, although it has been extended in Philadelphia until August 31st. The Public Utility Commission’s moratorium on utility terminations will continue until further notice.
This is a win for all Pennsylvanians.
Musical Mood Boost
Happy Independence Day! My office will close on Friday, July 3rd and Monday, July 6th in observance of the holiday. Please have a safe, relaxing weekend. We will see you again on Tuesday, July 7th.
Ray Charles, America the Beautiful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CILIBlQ2D0Q
Be the Light,
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