PA Chamber Launches 'Bringing PA Back' Website to Provide Businesses Information, Resources
PA Chamber officially launches 'Bringing PA Back' website to help businesses safely reopen and jump start the state's economy.

Last month, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry announced its "Bringing PA Back" initiative, a program created to provide businesses with critical information as they prepare to reopen after months of forced closures due to the novel coronavirus.

As areas of Pennsylvania begin to slowly open back up this week based on Gov. Tom Wolf's three-phased, color-coded plan , the Chamber has launched an interactive website to provide businesses with up-to-date information and resources .

Over the last several weeks, the Chamber has worked with business leaders and stakeholders across the state regarding specific economic, policy and resources needed in their communities as they plan to restart Pennsylvania's economy. The feedback they received played a pivotal role in the development of the program's comprehensive website.
The "Bringing PA Back" website provides vital information for employers to be ready to reopen as their county moves between phases under the governor's plan. This includes guidance from trusted sources on workplace readiness, like cleaning and safety standards, industry-specific guidelines and policy recommendations for legislators and the administration that will help to jump start the state’s economy.

Earlier this week, Gov. Wolf provided additional guidance for businesses set to reopen on Friday. The administration's updated guidance offers details on the procedures companies must follow to conduct in-person operations, based on building and business safety orders previously released for "life-sustaining" businesses. Last Friday, Pennsylvania released the first slate of 24 counties eligible to partially reopen on May 8 as provided under Gov. Wolf's proposal to slowly reopen the Commonwealth and loosen stay-at-home orders.
Gov. Wolf announces new Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps to assist with future recovery efforts.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Wednesday the creation of the Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps, a public health initiative aimed toward establishing strong and immediate support for recovery efforts this fall. The initiative will focus on increased testing and contact tracing, as well as provide critical new job opportunities in the public health sector.

According to the governor, as the Commonwealth continues to reopen its economy and ramp up efforts for more testing and contact tracing, the Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps would partner with local public health agencies, community organizations and nonprofits to make those efforts a reality. In addition, the Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps would provide an opportunity for the Commonwealth to "recruit and train COVID-19-impacted dislocated and unemployed workers into public service for contact tracing roles" to address the state’s health and economic needs.

“We have all made many sacrifices throughout this crisis and we share a desire to move forward toward a healthier, safer and more prosperous future,” Gov. Wolf said. “Through this public service initiative, Pennsylvanians will have opportunities in the months ahead to join a collective effort to ensure that we emerge from this pandemic a stronger commonwealth.”
Daily COVID-19 update for Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 888 new positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide, bringing the state total to 51,845. In addition, 3,106 Pennsylvanians have died from complications from the virus. To date, there have been nearly 205,000 negative cases across the state.

Gov. Tom Wolf is still asking all Pennsylvanians who must leave their homes for life-essential reasons to wear a mask to help stop the spread of the virus . An executive order was issued on April 15 requiring customers entering a place of business to wear a mask.

Daily COVID-19 update for Ohio

The Ohio Department of Health reported 21,576 cumulative cases of COVID-19 and 1,225 deaths, including probable cases, by Tuesday afternoon. There have been 4,052 hospitalizations and 1,151 ICU admissions.
Other News...
Pa. House passes bill to provide more testing for health care workers, vulnerable citizens. A bill that would make testing available for front line health care workers and the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians passed the state House on Monday. The proposal, which received strong bipartisan support, would create framework for statewide COVID-19 testing and allow local health departments to have greater flexibility regarding coronavirus testing.

Foster children, parents impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvania's foster-care system has been significantly impacted by the novel coronavirus outbreak. In-person visits with biological parents are limited and many adoptions are on hold due to court closures. And what concerns advocates and state officials even more -- reports of suspected child abuse and neglect are down, indicating abuse is going unseen as children no longer interact in person with mandatory reporters such as teachers and coaches.

COVID-19 relief payments could be exempt from state, local taxes. Legislation that would make COVID-19 payments received from the federal government exempt from state and local taxes passed in the state House of Representatives this week. The bill, House Bill 2408, would ensure that Pennsylvanians who received money through the federal CARES Act would not be required to pay state and local taxes.

Legislation to expand transparency during emergency declarations passes Pa. House. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation this week that would prohibit state agencies and other government entities from refusing to respond to open records requests due to an emergency declaration. Some state agencies have denied requests for information provided for under the state's open records laws.
Unprecedented times, but McNees is here to help
The situation surrounding COVID-19 is changing by the hour. Capitol Buzz will do its best to keep our readers as up-to-date as possible as to local, state and federal actions relating to the virus.

As we have stated in previous editions, for those businesses seeking guidance or assistance on how to proceed during this unprecedented time, please contact the McNees Labor and Employment Practice Group , or for government relations and nonprofit consulting assistance please contact the McNees Strategic Solutions Group (MSSG) .

You can also visit the McNees COVID-19 Article & Resource Page for more information on various legal and political issues created by the novel coronavirus.

For more information on what you can do to protect yourself and others, check out the CDC's coronavirus information page or visit www.health.pa.gov .
2020 SENATE SESSION SCHEDULE

The Senate stands in recess until the call of the President Pro Tempore

May
18, 19, 20
June
1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30
2020 HOUSE SESSION SCHEDULE

The House stands adjourned until the call of the chair.

May
11, 12, 13, 18(NV)
June
8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30
September
15, 16, 17, 29, 30
October
1, 5, 6, 7, 19, 20, 21
November
10
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