COVID-19 Update 04 May, 2020
Join us in welcoming Thomas Young to our team as an Associate! Thomas will be primarily working on managing our economic development portfolio, providing legislative analysis, and supporting our advocacy work. We’re glad to have him here!
- The U.S Treasury Department plans to borrow nearly $3 trillion between April and June to bankroll the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Department said it expects to borrow another $677 billion between July and September.
- Mitt Romney has proposed Patriot Pay that will provide bonus pay- up to $12 an hour on top of normal wages for certain eligible workers such as grocery and health workers.
- Senator Romney’s plan differs slightly from the Democratic plan, by offering employers a refundable payroll tax credit for paying out the bonuses to eligible employees.
- The plan states that employers would be refunded for up to three-quarters of hazard pay bonuses to employees making less than $90,000 a year.
- At least 20 publicity traded companies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey received at least $48.6 million in government-backed loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
- Many of the companies who received funds were already struggling before COVID-19 while others had access to capital as part of existing agreements with banks.
COVID-19 update: 50,092 reported cases and 2,458 deaths. The state has tested 245,590 people for COVID-19,.
- This week, gig workers and those who are self-employed will be able to receive unemployment benefits this week. Individuals will receive back pay.
- In order to address the influx of claims, the department has brought back 70 retirees and hired 250 new intake interviewers to help speed up an application process.
- Nearly 20 percent of PA’s coronavirus cases have been tied to nursing homes and personal care facilities. Two-thirds of the state’s overall death toll can be traced back to nursing homes.
- Originally, Secretary Levine has said that the Department of Health can not release facility-specific dates due to privacy concerns. However, today she said that the Department of Health is now considering whether to publicly release this information.
- Foster youth aging out the system during COVID-19 face unprecedented hurdles, many that are not realistic because of the pandemic. Foster youth and their advocates have asked Gov. Wolf to suspend some of these requirements such as finding a job and school requirements.
- Other states have taken action such as allocating more money to protect foster youth and their families and allowing youth to stay in foster care beyond their 21st birthdays.
- Tomorrow the Pa. chapter of the Foster Care Alumni of America is planning a tweetstorm to get Gov. Wolf’s attention tomorrow at 2:00 pm using the @governortomwolf and #AGINGOUTYOUTHMATTER, #EXTENDSERVICESPA and #FOSTERCAREAWARENESS.
COVID-19: 16,040 confirmed cases and 726 deaths.
As we wrote on Friday, Mayor Kenney’s proposed new budget has significant changes that impacted all sectors of the Philadelphia economy. The budget is not final and the city council still needs to approve the new budget. Bellevue Strategies will provide a closer look at the budget throughout this week. The budget can be found here.
The revised budget reflects the $649 million of reductions to planned spending, reduced reserves, and new revenue sources compared to the FY21 Budget proposed on March 5 to close the budget gap. The City is projecting revenues of $4.695 billion in FY21, a $243.7 million (4.9%) decrease compared to current FY20 projection
Much of this budget reduction is in areas where the city has received federal dollars from the Cares Act, such as homeless prevention and loans to small businesses. However, the budget does reduce and/or eliminate funding for arts and culture and other programs.
- The city will utilize funds from the Cares Act for affordable housing and homelessness prevention/assistance which will allow funds to be reallocated to core City services not receiving federal funds.
- All health centers will remain open, but evening and weekend hours will be reduced.
- The city will also eliminate a media campaign around children’s health and will delay a drug user survey.
Parks and Rec:
- Due to social distancing and funding constraints, city pools will not be open and the Dell Concert Series will be canceled.
- Funding for the Mural Arts Program and Philadelphia Museum of Art will be reduced.
- Funding for the arts, special events, and non-profit support will be reduced or eliminated.
Economic and Workforce Development:
- The City will eliminate internships, hiring and training programs for specialized populations, and certain professional development programs.
- Due to the federal government allocating ten times the amount of money to business through loans and grants, the availability of these funds enables a reduction in funding for the Commerce Department
- The Office of Workforce Development will cease to exist.
- The city anticipates that the state funding for human services will decrease by 3.7%.
The Mayor’s proposed budget includes a reduction in all city or most city agencies that are not public safety-related. The largest reduction is in the commerce department which is facing an $8,836,202 cut. City Council will also see a reduction in its spending. Specifically personal services will be reduced by $750,000 and City Councils’ purchase of services allocation will be reduced by $475,000. Lastly, the Mayor is proposing an $8,794,891 cut for the District Attorney’s office. Parks and Rec will also see a reduction in funds across the board totaling $12,545,566.
Good News of the Day
Anonymous Donor Gives $1 Million Gift to Hospital So It Can Be Divided Between Every Single Employee
Via The Good News Network – The staffers at this California hospital are rejoicing after receiving a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor who asked for the money to be divided amongst the employees.
The donation was made this week to the Dignity Health Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California. Although the donor opted to remain anonymous, they did include a note with their financial gift saying: “Thank you for standing up (and staying up!) to care for our community. This human kindness is what makes you heroic.”