Mar. 12, 2021

HARRISBURG – Sen. David Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill) and Reps. Tim Twardzik (R-Schuylkill), Joe Kerwin (R-Dauphin/Schuylkill) and Jerry Knowles (R-Schuylkill/Berks/Carbon) announced that Schuylkill County would be receiving over $9 million for rental and utility assistance due to the passage of Senate Bill 109, signed into law on Friday by Governor Wolf as Act 1 of 2021

“It is great to see both chambers of our General Assembly come together and pass meaningful legislation to help all Pennsylvanians, with unanimous support,” said Twardzik. “Act 1 not only assists our struggling businesses, but Pennsylvanians who are finding it difficult to afford their rent and utilities during these uncertain times.” 

“The rental and utility assistance offered by Act 1 offers much needed assistance to Pennsylvania families that have been hit hardest by this pandemic throughout 2020,” expressed Kerwin. “It is a positive development that the General Assembly was able to get SB 109 quickly passed and onto the governor's desk for his signature so that relief can be provided.”

“This is great news for our community,” said Knowles. “We need to help out individuals who were most impacted by the governor’s shut down orders. We must find ways to rebuild our economy and this funding will go a long way as we move into the future. It’s important that we continue to look at measures to counter the effects of the pandemic across the Commonwealth.”

“I was very pleased to vote in favor of this strongly bipartisan relief package. I have been hearing from restaurant owners, schools, employers, and tenants in Berks and Schuylkill County for months that they needed help from their state government after all the hardships that came from the pandemic and the extended shutdown of our economy.  Providing this relief for them truly shows the impact that the State Legislature can have on the lives of Pennsylvanians when we work together towards a common goal,” said Argall. 
“We are truly grateful for the work done by our state legislators to expedite this legislation and honored to be chosen by the Schuylkill County Commissioners to administer the Emergency Rental Assistance Program,” said Dave Young, executive director of Schuylkill Community Action. “The rental and utility assistance through the program will go a long way in providing housing stability to some of the area’s most vulnerable households.”

Act 1 of 2021 is a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package that was signed into law on Friday, Feb. 5, by Gov. Wolf which provides financial assistance to Pennsylvania’s struggling families, schools and small businesses. This law allots for $145 million to our hard-hit restaurant and hospitality industry, $570 million in rental and utility assistance, and $197 million in funding for educational institutions, such as nonpublic schools, career and technical schools, charters schools for the deaf and blind, approved private schools, community colleges and the PA State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). 

This new law also clarifies that funding received by business owners from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is not subject to state income taxes. 

The rental assistance program allows counties to administer the funds through a contracted provider while following the federal guidelines set in place. Schuylkill Community Action (SCA) a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is setup to administer the funds and assistance to those throughout the county in need. For more information on the program, please contact SCA’s office at 570-622-1995. 

Representative Tim Twardzik
123rd Legislative District
Representative Joe Kerwin
125th Legislative District 
Representative Jerry Knowles
124th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: 
(Kerwin & Twardzik) Matthew Deegan,
(Knowles) Rick Leiner,