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Gov. Wolf to Legislature: Provide support to front-line workers in life-sustaining industries

Gov. Tom Wolf today called on the General Assembly to provide additional funding for the COVID-19 Hazard Pay Program to support front-line workers risking their health to continue working in life-sustaining industries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Pennsylvanians who work front-line, essential jobs during this pandemic deserve our gratitude and our respect, but even more, they deserve compensation for their hard work. The COVID-19 Hazard Pay Grant Program was created to keep front-line employees working in vital industry sectors and to compensate workers appropriately for the additional hazards their jobs entail during a pandemic,” Gov. Wolf said.
“The overwhelming response we received for this program shows a clear need for additional hazard pay funding, and so I am calling on the General Assembly to allocate additional and much-needed funds so that we can further support workers who put their health on the line to keep life-sustaining services operating for all of us.”
As part of his fall legislative agenda, Gov. Wolf is calling on the General Assembly to provide an additional $225 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to the state’s COVID-19 Hazard Pay Program, a reimbursement-based grant that was announced in July to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), which administered the program, received more than 10,000 applications totaling nearly $900 million, of which more than 5,000 businesses requesting $300 million were eligible. Of those, 639 employers were awarded $50 million, supporting a $3 per hour increase in pay for 41,587 workers across eligible industries.