COVID-19 Update 01 June, 2020

COVID-19 Update 01 June, 2020

Important announcement: 

Gov. Wolf Signs Executive Order Extending Mail Ballot Deadline in Six Counties to June 9

  • Governor Tom Wolf today signed an executive order extending the deadline for county election offices in Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties to receive absentee or mail-in ballots by mail to 5 p.m. June 9, 2020.
  • The ballot must be postmarked no later than Tuesday, June 2, 2020. The deadline to hand-deliver absentee or mail-in ballots remains 8 p.m. June 2, 2020.

Federal 

McConnell seeks to move House-passed fix to Paycheck Protection Program as soon as possible 

  • The House passed a measure would expand the period in which money from the Paycheck Protection Program must be utilized in order to qualify for loan forgiveness to 24 weeks, from eight weeks, and ease the requirement that 75% of the funds must be used to cover payroll expenses. The new requirement would be 60%.
  • These new requirements would be especially helpful to restaurants and retailers who have not been cleared to reopen yet in many states. 

Black congressional lawmakers look to ‘forcefully respond’ to police brutality crisis

  • The Congressional Black Caucus is seeking to rally their colleagues — and the nation — behind long-overdue reforms to stop police killings of black men. 
  • Some of their ideas and policy include a march from the Capitol to the White House or the Department of Justice, and a four-page resolution to condemn police brutality and racial profiling. 

Upcoming grants and webinars: 

The Red Backpack Fund 

  • GlobalGiving will be making at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs and the majority of women-owned businesses in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis.
  • The Red Backpack fund will be accepting applications in three stages. June 1-8th, July 6th-13th, and August 3rd-10th.
  • For more information please visit the FAQ website.

COVID-19 Arts Aid PHI are open until June 5th

  •  COVID-19 Arts Aid PHL is a mid-sized grant program and is open to nonprofit and fiscally-sponsored arts and culture organizations with annual budgets between $250,000 and $15 million whose operations have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Funding will provide emergency relief of $5,000-$45,000 to arts and culture organizations in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.

Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania Webinar June 3rd “COVID-19: Advocating for Additional Federal Relief and Stimulus in June”

  • Join the Housing Alliance as they speak with experts from national organizations on the status of additional COVID-19 relief legislation in June and what housing supports we can advocate for in that legislation. The discussion will include legislative priorities, legislators to target, and timing for when legislation may pass.

State 

COVID-19 update: 365 new cases in the state reported on Monday, bringing the statewide total to over 72,000. 12 deaths were reported in the state, bringing the total number of deaths to 5,567.

State lawmakers block plastic bag bans, like Philadelphia’s, in move one representative calls ‘huge abuse of power’

  • The PA State House used a budget-related bill to extend a current moratorium on plastic bag bans for at least a year. There was no debate and no public hearings. 
  • The provision was interested in the fiscal code and it prohibits municipalities from enacting any fees or restrictions on all single-use plastics such as bags, utensils, or styrofoam containers.
  • Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla who championed Philadelphia plastic bag ban says he’s had discussions with the Philadelphia Law Department on challenging the state’s preemption of the plastic bag bans.

Following criticism, state officials are ‘rewriting’ regulation on long-term care homes

  • State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said her agency has implemented recommendations from the Auditor General’s office and is “in the process of rewriting regulation based on a report from the Nursing Home Task Force.”
  • Some facilities have turned down resources offered by the Health Department, Levine said, adding that she believes this is because they feared being cited, which she says is not the department’s intent.

Philadelphia 

Covid-19 update:  Today there were an additional 252 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the citywide total to 22,281. 3 deaths were reported today, bringing the total in Philadelphia to 1,287.

Philly DA: Curfew doesn’t apply to voters heading to polls on Election Day

  • If the city decides to extend another day with a curfew, District Attorney Larry Krasner has said that the curfew will not interfere with any voter going to the polls.
  • City Commissioner Lisa Deeley said her office is developing a contingency plan in the event that access to polling places — already reduced by nearly 80% by the pandemic — is hindered by ongoing protests or looting. That plan could involve relocating a polling location or funneling voters to another location, though details were scarce.
  • The election task force will be available all day at 215-686-9641, 9643, or 9644.
  • Armed police are prohibited from coming within 100 feet of a polling location unless called there to respond to an incident. 

Hundreds laid off, no arts funding, and every other reason people are protesting Kenney’s budget cuts

  • The City Council is currently reviewing the Mayor’s budget, but it is not only the city council that is expressing frustration over the new budget.
  • Layoffs are being proposed in all departments, specifically for seasonal and part-time workers, like those that work at the Free Library over the summer.
  • Art advocates have continued to be alarmed by the Mayor’s proposed $4 million in cuts that would eliminate the city’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.

Good News of the Day

EU Plans to Raise $22 Billion Annually to Protect 30% of Land and Oceans for Biodiversity

Via the Good News Network:

The European Commission (EC) has made a concrete pledge to enshrine 30% of the EU’s land and oceans as protected zones by 2030. To reach this end they plan to raise 20 billion euro ($22 billion) every year for the next 10 years from private and public sources—both the EU climate fund and national budgets.

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