Allegheny County, PA – April 14, 2020 – Today, Senator Pam Iovino (D – Allegheny & Washington) announced that her legislation to provide consistent protections for all school contractors during the COVID-19 pandemic passed the Pennsylvania House and Senate as an amendment incorporated into Senate Bill 841, an omnibus COVID-19 response bill which passed the General Assembly along bipartisan lines. Senate Bill 841 also includes provisions to allow e-notary services, which will help families to remotely manage the estates of loved ones, and to aid the operations of municipalities by allowing them to meet remotely and to postpone certain statutory deadlines for pending municipal action. The legislation is now awaiting the Governor’s signature.
The first COVID-19 response bill passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor as Act 13 of 2020 allowed school entities to renegotiate contracts, specifically for school bus transportation services, with the goal of ensuring contracted personnel and fixed costs are maintained during closure. The inclusion of Senator Iovino’s legislation in Senate Bill 841 extends this protection to apply consistently to all other contract service providers, including but not limited to food service, custodial, and security contracts.
“The men and women who work in our schools as contractors are eager to contribute to our children’s education but are unable to due to the necessary physical closure of schools. As a result, the income, healthcare coverage, and economic security of some of these workers and their families are at risk,” said Senator Iovino. “The protections for all school contract workers in this legislation mean consistency for all workers in schools across the Commonwealth during this unprecedented crisis.”