Senator John Yudichak Statement on Passage of SB 1122

Harrisburg, May 12, 2020 – State Senator John Yudichak (I-Luzerne/Carbon) lauded passage today of SB 1122, which includes $507 million from federal CARES Act funding for long term care programs.

“Nursing homes throughout the country and our Commonwealth have become the epicenter for the spread of the novel coronavirus. It’s clear that the lack of a statewide plan has contributed to our long term care facilities not getting the resources they need in order to protect their residents and employees,” said Senator John Yudichak (I-Luzerne/Carbon). “In the absence of a statewide strategic plan, local organizations like the Earth Conservancy and the AllOne Foundation have stepped up and helped our nursing homes in northeastern Pennsylvania, but it’s evident that additional resources are needed. With today’s vote on Senate Bill 1122, we have taken a large step forward in helping our nursing homes in their fight against COVID-19.”

The $507 million in “Caring for Those Who Care for Us” funding in Senate Bill 1122 would be provided to:

  • Nursing homes – $245 million;
  • Personal assistance services – $140 million;
  • Community HealthChoices managed care organizations – $50 million;
  • Assisted living centers and personal care homes – $50 million;
  • Adult day services – $13 million;
  • LIFE (Living Independence for the Elderly) providers – $8 million;
  • Residential habilitation – $1 million.

“On behalf of Pennsylvania’s long-term care providers, their frontline workers and the residents they serve, we thank the members of the state Senate, including Senator Yudichak, for the support we desperately need to win the battle against COVID-19. Since teaming up with Senator Yudichak on the S.O.S. program for northeastern PA, he has been a leader in the fight to support long-term care. We thank him and every Senator who stood up for providers, workers and their residents today,” said Zach Shamberg, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association.

“Today the Senate took an extraordinary and necessary step to support all long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania, and LeadingAge PA members are grateful,” said Adam Marles, President/CEO of LeadingAge PA. “Allocating significant CARES Act funding to nursing facilities will help to ensure facilities have the resources they need to continue protecting and caring for residents and staff. Our members are delivering care in the face of an invisible virus, with constantly evolving guidance and best practices. Daily operating expenses have skyrocketed for their facilities, and we commend the Senate on Pennsylvania’s first commitment of dollars to support them. We are also thankful to Senator Yudichak for being a strong voice on behalf of our aging adults and those providing their care across the Commonwealth.”

The bill would also establish a special one-time grant program for Pennsylvania’s volunteer fire companies and EMS squads as they address the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The COVID-19 Crisis Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program would provide a total of $31 million in grants to organizations that were approved for annual funding by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC).

Companies that did not receive a grant from PEMA and OSFC would also have a new window to apply.

The new funding for long-term living programs and the first responder grants will come from federal money appropriated to Pennsylvania from the CARES Act.

Senate Bill 1122 passed the Senate unanimously and will be considered by the House next.

Attached Testimony

MEDIA CONTACTS

Carly Simpson – csimpson@pasen.gov

Brad Hurley – bhurley@pasen.gov