Written By: Beth Brennan & Jim Davis, Lobbyists, Cozen O'Connor
Pennsylvania’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout moved full steam ahead this month as Governor Tom Wolf made several announcements in which he increased or expanded vaccine eligibility. All Pennsylvanians age 16 and older are now eligible to schedule a Covid-19 vaccine. As the month of April comes to a close, over 8 million vaccines have been given in PA with 47.3% of all Pennsylvania having received a first dose. The Commonwealth of PA ranks 10th among all 50 states for first does administered by percentage of population.
The House and Senate tackled several Covid-19 related items this month. The Senate extended the chamber’s temporary rules to allow for remote participation in session and the House passed legislation provide temporary relief Covid-19 related liability claims. Similar legislation was vetoed by Governor Wolf in 2020.
Pennsylvania House Republicans released a report that includes answers and policy suggestions in response to a survey sent to Pennsylvania employers in February. 921 business responded to the survey. The report noted that the hospitality and tourism industry has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Some of the key findings of the report: 31 percent of respondents said the biggest challenge facing their business has been state virus mitigation orders; 21 percent said financial issues and hardships are their greatest challenges; 28 percent said tax reductions would have the greatest impact on their future success, while another 22 percent said their future success depends upon the Commonwealth removing restrictions and allowing them to fully open for business.
Pennsylvania Democrats put forward a Pennsylvania Rescue Plan to help employers in all sectors including the hospitality industry. The House Democratic Caucus began developing its “Pennsylvania Rescue Plan” early in the year. The plan would provide funding for businesses unable to stay open or work remotely, job creation, child care, high-speed internet, telehealth, and resources for community college students, among other items.
PAFIA worked with the House Film Caucus Chairs to help host a tour of Sun Center Film Studios followed by a small informal gathering in Philadelphia. A group of 7 bi-partisan Representatives participated in the tour which included a mix of both newly elected and more senior tenured legislators.
Discussions continue with legislators regarding the requested increase to the entertainment production (film) tax credit program. Budget negotiations among the four caucuses and Governor have not yet officially begun, but our advocacy remains focused on educating members on the economic development benefit of the film and television industry. With an enhanced film tax credit, the industry can play a significant role in the Commonwealth’s Covid-19 financial recovery.
Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)461 Cochran Road, Box 246Pittsburgh, PA 15228(717) 833-4561 firstname.lastname@example.org