Pa. Senate approves $912M pandemic recovery aid bill

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s state Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation to distribute just over $900 million to aid schools and hospitality-related businesses hit hard by the coronavirus, as well as people struggling to pay rent or utility bills.

The bill still requires approval from the state House of Representatives and Gov. Tom Wolf.

Most of the $912 million being directed by the bill is federal aid approved by Congress in last month’s coronavirus recovery package.

Some of it, $145 million, is reserve cash from a worker’s compensation fund that Wolf last month had asked lawmakers to send to businesses hit hard by the pandemic. The money would be available through counties in grants of up to $50,000 for bars, restaurants, and hotels.

The majority of the money, $570 million, would be divided up to counties based on population to help people struggling to pay rent or utilities. Landlords and tenants would be eligible to apply.

The rest of the money, $197 million, would be distributed to educational institutions that did not get a cut of the $2.2 billion in federal coronavirus aid that public schools and charter schools are receiving under last month’s federal coronavirus recovery package.

Most of it would go to private schools.

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