Senator David Argall E-Newsletter

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In the issue:

  • Senate Passes COVID-19 Emergency Measures for Local Governments
  • State warns of COVID-19 Stimulus Check Scams
  • Trout Fishing Season Opens Early
  • Guidance Issued on Building Safety and Maintenance During COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Volunteer Fire Departments Eligible for Federal Loan Programs
  • Option to Vote by Mail-in Ballot
  • Celebrating Easter and Passover

Senate Passes COVID-19 Emergency Measures for Local Governments

Local governments have faced significant challenges during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Senate approved a bill this week that will help local governments respond to the coronavirus crisis.

The bill would:

  • Allow local governments to provide greater flexibility on property tax deadlines.
  • Permit local governments to conduct remote meetings and conduct other business remotely during the governor’s disaster declaration.
  • Give notaries emergency authorization to notarize documents remotely through the use of communications technology.
  • Provide additional time for businesses to contribute to educational scholarship programs in order to earn tax credits.
  • Reauthorize the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council and require the panel to complete a report on the effect of the COVID-19 disaster emergency on healthcare facilities, including expenses and lost revenue during the crisis to determine additional financial assistance.

More details about the bill are available here. 

State Warns of COVID-19 Stimulus Check Scams

The state Departments of Revenue and Banking and Securities are warning Pennsylvanians about phishing scams targeting people who are expecting a stimulus payment from the federal government.

The Internal Revenue Service has reported seeing a surge of scam artists perpetrating phishing schemes in which they pose as government officials to trick people into turning over their banking information.

Pennsylvanians should never give direct deposit or other banking information to anyone who contacts them on the phone, through email or text messages, or on social media. More details about this scam are available here. 

Trout Fishing Season Opens Early

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission announced that trout fishing season is officially open for the 2020 season. The early opening is intended to discourage large groups of anglers from concentrating on the traditional opening day, which could have made social distancing difficult.

Anglers are encouraged to maintain at least six feet of separation from others, wear a mask or face-covering, avoid sharing fishing gear with others and only fish with members of their own household. Due to the early opening, Mentored Youth Trout Day will be cancelled, but all youth fishing licenses purchased in 2020 will be honored in 2021.

More information about the early opening day of trout season is available here.

Guidance Issued on Building Safety and Maintenance During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Department of Health recently offered guidance for life-sustaining businesses to clean and maintain their facilities during the current public health emergency. Some of the directions include cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas, maintaining existing cleaning protocols, and ensuring each facility has sufficient employees to maintain safety and control building access.

The full order from the Department of Health is available here. 

Option to Vote by Mail-in Ballot

Voters now have the option to vote by mail in the upcoming primary election on June 2nd.

As part of a broad election modernization package that was approved by the General Assembly and signed into law in 2019, voters now have the option to request a ballot by mail. Previous law required a voter to request an absentee ballot only if he or she would be physically unable to go to the polls on Election Day.

Voters must complete an application for a mail-in ballot no later than seven days prior to the election.

Pennsylvanians can learn more about voting by mail and complete an application for a mail-in ballot at www.VotesPA.com/ApplyMailBallot.

Celebrating Easter and Passover

For many of us, this is going to be the most unusual Easter or Passover we have ever celebrated. Many of us are unable to see family or friends or even attend our traditional religious services.

That does not mean we cannot celebrate this special time of year. We can still donate food, clothing, toys or money to those in need.  Modern technology can help us connect with friends and family who are feeling lonely or stressed.  By helping others or making an extra effort throughout the next week, we can ensure that everyone’s holiday can be just as special as it has been in the past.

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