PA Senate Passes First COVID-19 Related Legislation

Killion casts votes remotely to delay primary and extend unemployment benefits

In response to the unprecedented COVID-19 emergency, the Pennsylvania Senate today approved a package emergency-related bills, said Senator Tom Killion (R-Chester and Delaware) who voted remotely.

“In a time of so much uncertainty, it’s critical Pennsylvanians know state government will do all in its power to protect them and ease the economic hardships created by this emergency,” said Killion. “The legislation passed today is crucial to our response as a state to this public health and economic crisis.”

The Senate passed three noteworthy pieces of legislation. Senate Bill 422 delays the 2020 Primary Election to Tuesday, June 2nd, allows counties to consolidate polling places and creates other COVID-19 emergency-related provisions.

House Bill 68 updates Unemployment Compensation laws to extend relief to employees affected by closures and Senate Bill 751 change provisions of the PA School Code to address missed instructional time for students.

The author of Senate Bill 1086 which would create a zero-interest disaster loan program for small businesses, Killion noted there will be more legislation related to the COVID-19 emergency considered by the Senate in coming days.

“The situation is very fluid,” Killion noted. “Senate leadership, both Republican and Democratic, is in constant communication with each other, their counterparts in the House and Governor Wolf.

“With remote voting in place, my colleagues and I are ready to act swiftly and decisively to protect the health of Pennsylvanians and mitigate the economic effects of this once-in-a-lifetime challenge.”