Senator Vince Hughes

Harrisburg, PA − Abril 6, 2020 − Leaders from the Democratic caucuses of the Pennsylvania House and Senate today presented legislative solutions for working families during the COVID outbreak and business closures. They addressed issues, including:

  • Retaliation against employees
  • Pay for all K-12 employees, including contracted employees
  • Strengthening standards for care
  • Ensuring that workers compensation covers COVID cases
  • A voucher program for childcare
  • Earned, paid leave

“We are in the middle of a public health crisis, one that we must navigate with special attention to our workforce,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. “Many folks will not be able to work in the coming weeks, and we need to be certain they will not be plunged into poverty or lose their access to health care. For those who are still working, their workplaces must be made as safe as possible. Working together at every level of government and jointly with our partners in private business, we can emerge from this crisis with a financially and medically healthy workforce.”

“We’ll pull through this by pulling together. All of us are depending on people who are doing many important jobs,” said House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny). “As lawmakers we need to take every possible step to smooth the way for vital workers on the front lines of health care, public safety, education and ensuring that food remains available. They’re getting the job done for us so we need to get this done for them.”

“Any action taken on a local, state or federal level must put our workers first,” Sen. Hughes said. “These are the people who maintain our social structure and drive our economy, whether or not there is a crisis. We must prioritize their needs as a part of our coordinated response so that families can stay home, remain safe and free from distress during times of need.”

“We are facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis, and not everyone has a job that enables them to work from home,” said Democratic House Appropriations Chairman Matt Bradford (D-Montgomery). “These Pennsylvanians — who work in healthcare, essential retail and public safety — are on the front lines of this crisis to ensure vital services are still delivered. We owe it to them to provide basic protections like paid sick leave, insurance coverage, and job security.”

“It is absolutely clear that hardworking people are the core of our nation and the economy. During this crisis, healthcare workers are the difference between massive death and survival,” said Senator Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) “Now we must protect each other with paid sick leave, childcare vouchers, and extended unemployment compensation, including COVID-19 cases.  We have everything to lose, we cannot wait any longer.”

“This crisis has uncovered the flaws in our system that so many working Pennsylvanians already knew existed,” said House Democratic Whip Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia). “We can’t sustain a society, nor should we want to sustain a society, where so many of our citizens are one missed paycheck away from losing their home, one unpaid sick day away from not being able to afford their food or medicine, or a few missed hours away from losing their childcare. During this extraordinary situation we must show extraordinary leadership, including quickly enacting legislation that will protect those who through no fault of their own are now struggling without income.”


Cosponsorship memos for the legislation mentioned above can be downloaded here.