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Gov. Wolf signs $900 million in pandemic aid for hospitality, schools, rent, utilities


Harrisburg, PA – Gov. Tom Wolf signs legislation approved Friday by lawmakers that carries over $900 million in pandemic-driven aid for hard-hit hospitality businesses, private schools and people struggling to pay rent or utility bills.

Both chambers passed the bill unanimously Friday. In addition to distributing money, the bill carries a provision designed to clear up any uncertainty over whether federal pandemic aid, including Paycheck Protection Program loans and direct federal payments to taxpayers, are taxable as income in Pennsylvania. It is not, under the bill.

Most of the $912 million being allocated in the bill is federal aid approved by Congress in December.

$145 million is cash from a state worker’s compensation fund that Gov. Wolf asked lawmakers to send to businesses hit hard by the pandemic.

The money would be available through counties in grants of up to $50,000 for bars, restaurants and hotels with under 300 employees.

The majority of the money, $570 million, would be divided up to counties based on population to help people struggling to pay rent or utilities.

Landlords and tenants would be eligible to apply.

$197 million, would be distributed to private schools and other educational institutions that did not get a cut of the $2.2 billion in federal coronavirus aid that public schools and charter schools are receiving under December’s package.