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Boscola Bulletin

Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing

On Thursday, June 4th at 10:00 a.m., I will be co-chairing a Senate Democratic Policy Committee hearing on the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the African American community. I am impressed and eager to hear from our group of testifiers who will be sharing their firsthand experiences, expertise, and recommendations for how we can do better to make sure that all Pennsylvanians have access to good healthcare and the resources they need.

Those testifying will include:

  • Dr. Carmen Guerra from the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania;
  • Dr. Shanetta Johnson from Morehouse Healthcare;
  • Dr. Orland Kirton from the Philadelphia Collaborative on Health Equity;
  • Dr. Uche Blackstock from Advancing Health Equity;
  • Greg Millett from amfAR, the Foundation for Aids Research;
  • Rashawn Ray, Ph.D. from The Brookings Institution.

Make sure to join us LIVE by streaming at

Senate Democratic Policy Hearing This Week – Thursday, June 4, 2020

Unemployment Compensation Virtual Townhall

Mark your calendar for TOMORROW, June 4, 2020 at 1:00pm.  The Unemployment Compensation team will be hosting another LIVE virtual town hall to discuss Unemployment Compensation (UC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits – as well as take questions. 

CALL TO LISTEN: (833) 380-0719

Unemployment Compensation Virtual Townhall

Preliminary Guidance for Phased Reopening of School

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) today announced that elementary and secondary schools in the state’s yellow and green phases may resume in-person instruction and activities beginning July 1 under a phased reopening approach that first requires schools to develop health and safety plans based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state Department of Health (DOH).

PDE also released guidance that allows postsecondary institutions and adult basic education programs, effective June 5, to begin in-person instruction immediately following the development of a health and safety plan outlining strategies for safe operations.

The preliminary documents follow Governor Wolf’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania, which has been updated to reflect the new guidance.  

Phased Reopening of Pre-K to 12 Schools

Preliminary guidance is available to aid in planning for a return to in-person instruction, delivery of services, and resumption of extracurricular activities – including those provided within schools by external organizations. This guidance serves as a starting point for school leaders to consider in their preparations for the upcoming year, and applies to school districts, charter schools, regional charter schools, cyber charter schools, career and technical centers, and intermediate units.

This guidance will continue to evolve as further research, data, and resources become available. Additional guidance is forthcoming and will outline steps for school openings while addressing safe operations, teaching and learning, and student wellness —with attention to equity throughout.

Download the Preliminary Guidance for the Phased Reopening of Pre-K to 12 Schools (PDF).

Resuming In-Person Instruction at Postsecondary Education Institutions and Adult Education Programs

Preliminary guidance is available to aid in safely resuming in-person instruction at colleges, universities, seminaries, trade schools, and adult basic education programs across Pennsylvania. This guidance includes general considerations to support healthy, safe, and inclusive learning environments when resuming in-person instruction, operations, services, and activities.

This preliminary guidance was informed by input and feedback from institutional leaders representing all sectors and regions of the commonwealth's postsecondary landscape. The guidance incorporates existing federal and state public health and safety recommendations, and may change as new information becomes available.

This plan is divided into two sections:

  • Section I: Phased Strategies, Expectation, and Considerations for Safely Resuming In-Person Instruction in Pennsylvania
  • Section II: Guidance and Recommended Practices for Resuming In-Person Instruction and Other Routine Operations at Postsecondary Institutions in Pennsylvania

Download the Preliminary Guidance for Resuming In-Person Instruction at Postsecondary Education Institutions and Adult Education Programs (PDF)

Update for Seniors: Stimulus Checks

As Pennsylvanians continue to receive federal stimulus payments as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Pennsylvania departments of Aging, Human Services (DHS) and Insurance remind consumers living in long-term care facilities that these checks belong to them, not the facilities where they live.

The Department of Human Services has issued guidance for how economic impact payments affect the eligibility of those living in long-term care for Pennsylvania's Medicaid program, Medical Assistance (MA). This guidance directs that the economic payment is not considered income for the purposes of MA eligibility. The portion of the economic impact payments that are spent within 12 months of receipt is also considered an excluded resource for MA eligibility. There should be no change to a resident's monthly charges in their contract due to this payment. Residents may direct their concerns or complaints to the Assisted Living Complaint Hotline at 877-401-8835.

I want to make sure that no one should worry that accepting this payment will affect their ability to keep Medicaid eligibility or their housing. The Department of Aging and DHS are working closely together to make sure that people who live in long-term care facilities are aware of their rights to this economic payment. Any resident of a facility who is concerned that their payment is in jeopardy should reach out to the Pennsylvania State Long-Term Care Ombudsman right away.

People who are single with an income below $12,200 or married with an income below $24,400, that do not receive Social Security or SSI and did not file their taxes in 2018 or 2019 can submit a non-filers form any time until the end of calendar year 2020 and receive their stimulus check.

Consumers with concerns should call the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office at 800-441-2555. But if they need some extra help preparing to make their complaint, the Department of Aging’s LTC State Ombudsman is happy to offer support. The number to call for help is 717-783-8975.  

The LTC Ombudsman recently launched a new statewide resource called Virtual Family Council, which offers families a chance to connect with a local ombudsman and other experts to ask questions and discuss protocols, rights and procedures for their loved ones in long-term care facilities. The meetings are held weekly and do not address specific issues regarding a resident or a facility. Learn more about the LTC ombudsman and various programs offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging here.

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

One East Broad Street
Suite 120
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 868-8667
Fax: (610) 861-2184
Toll-free: 1-877-535-1818
1701 Washington Blvd.
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-5627
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Fax: (610) 250-1889
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Senate Box 203018
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3018
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