• Rapid Response. The General Assembly this week convened using its new emergency powers enabling it to receive votes remotely from elected officials. They wasted no time pushing through several pieces of legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first of which was legislation that now moves the Pennsylvania Primary Election to June 2.  It was originally set to be held on April 28.  Other pieces of legislation quickly moving through are:
    • an education bill to relax the 180-day school requirements and require remote learning;
    • allocation of $50 million to aid hospitals and other medical facilities through the purchase of medical supplies;
    • extension of the state tax filing deadline to July 15 to coincide with the new federal tax filing deadline.
  • Relief on the Way? Another bill moving through the General Assembly is an amendment that would require the state to issue a blanket waiver for, “all public and private construction activities that can adhere to the social distancing practices and other mitigation measures defined by the Centers for Disease Control to protect workers and to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”  It is unknown if this will pass but sources inform us that it has momentum and is something that APC staff is watching closely.
  • Closings and Openings. A lot of activity this week has focused on business openings and closures.  Last week, Gov. Wolf issued a voluntary closure of all “non-essential businesses” as he battles to contain the spread of the virus.  By the beginning of this week, it became a mandatory closure order of all “non life-sustaining businesses.”  Now, everyone is trying to determine if they are or are not an essential life-sustaining business.  The Governor’s Office has developed a waiver process and has been regularly updating a document to assist in that determination.  GO HERE to view it.  It was reported that over 10,000 businesses submitted waivers in the first 24 hours.  The highway construction industry (originally determined to be a non-life sustaining business) has been working feverishly to reopen as has been the case in all other states in the nation with similarly imposed business closure orders.  GO HERE to see APC’s daily activity on this issue.
  • Shelter in Place. As the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania now tops 1,100 and is rising daily, Governor Wolf has now issued a stay-at-home order for Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties. The orders took effect at 8:00 PM Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and will continue until April 6, 2020. This list is expected to grow and is being updated daily.  GO HERE to see the restrictions via this order.
  • Finally…from us to you…stay healthy and stay safe. These are trying times.  We will get through it together.