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Boscola Bulletin

Boscola’s Redistricting Reform Tabled by Party Line Vote

Boscola Brings Redistricting Reform Proposal Before PA Senate :: July 15, 2020

During last week’s Rules Committee meeting, I made one last plea to my Senate colleagues to act on the need to reform the redistricting process. I offered an amendment that would reform the redistricting process in which legislative districts are drawn to SB 1166. My amendment would have established an independent commission to redraw district lines. In order to change the current process, and take the politics out of drawing district lines for the next round of redistricting, we needed to act. Sadly, the motion was tabled on a party line vote.

We can NOT continue to silence the voices of our constituents - our democracy ultimately belongs to the people and free and fair elections are the bedrock of our democracy.  This starts with ensuring our legislative lines are drawn blind to partisanship.  People need to believe that the system is open and seeks to serve their best interests. 
My plan enjoyed the support of Fair Districts Pa, Committee of Seventy, League of Women Voters, NAACP and many others.  Additionally, across the Commonwealth, twenty-four counties representing 70% of state’s population along with 370 local governments have passed resolutions in support of this plan.

Northampton County COVID-19 ​Relief ​Small Business Grant Program

Northampton County

Northampton County created a $4 million small business grant fund to distribute their share of the CARES Act funding to local small businesses – those employing less than 100 people – whose businesses have struggled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.  The Northampton County COVID-19 Relief Small Business Grant Program will be administered by the County Administration in partnership with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Program Overview

Northampton County Businesses with fewer than 100 employees may apply through July 31, 2020 for up to a $15,000 grant for COVID-19 related expenses. Once applications are received, Northampton County DCED in partnership with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce will process applications and review for administrative completeness.

Grant applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of Northampton County Administration, Northampton County Council members and the Greater Lehigh valley Chamber of Commerce who will make recommendations to the Northampton County Executive.  Priority will be given to businesses that have not received other state or federal COVID-19 grant assistance and/or funding.

The County Executive will make final recommendations to Northampton County Council.  County Council will consider each application for approval or denial.  Northampton County will fund grants to approved businesses.

Program Eligibility

Grants of up to $15,000 are available for small businesses that have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related statewide business closure and are available only for businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees (FTEs).

Eligible businesses must operate primarily in Northampton County and must file a Pennsylvania tax return. Applicants will self-certify that 51% or more of revenues are generated in PA.  (Businesses must have must have been in operation as of March 1, 2019.)

Eligible businesses may be structured as C-corporations, S-corporations, limited liability corporations, sole proprietors, independent contractors or self-employed individuals.
Businesses must currently be operating or have a clear plan to re-open once the Commonwealth permits re-opening of the business.

Eligible Uses of Funding

Grants may be used to cover payroll costs, costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums, in addition to covering rent payments and utility payments.
Working capital for the purpose of paying mortgage principal and interest payments (but not mortgage prepayments); and principal and interest payments on any other debt obligations that were incurred before February 15, 2020. Also, working capital for the purpose of covering the costs of re-opening business operations after being fully or partially closed due to the state-mandated business closure period commencing March 2020, as long as the expense was incurred do to COVID-19.

Any expenses (costs) incurred related to the expense of implementing COVID-19, including but not limited to specialized equipment, barriers, PDE’s, and employee training expense to ensure compliance with state and federal CDC guidelines for reopening.

Any COVID-19 related expenses not already paid for with other relief measures such as state grants or loans, US SBA Paycheck Protection Loans, local or regional grant and/or loan programs.

While applying, the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce will provide technical assistance to business owners during application preparation and online submission, if needed. 

Joint Senate & House Democratic Policy Committee Hearing – Worker Protection

Worker Protection

Tomorrow, I will be co-chairing with my House counterpart State Representative Mike Sturla a Joint Senate & House Democratic Policy Committee Hearing, along with Senators Katie Muth, Lindsey Williams, and Representatives Elizabeth Fiedler and Patrick Harkins, virtually at 11:00 a.m.

This hearing is being held to help gather information on how we can best address worker protections as many individuals are risking exposure to COVID-19 by entering back into the workplace. The meeting will be open to the public to attend and can be viewed LIVE by streaming on my website at www.SenatorBoscola.com/policy.

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

www.senatorboscola.com

BETHLEHEM OFFICE
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