Davis to introduce legislation to reinstate, fund Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Program provides critical help for vulnerable Pennsylvanians

McKEESPORT, Sept. 16 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, will introduce legislation to reinstate and fully fund the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which recently expired.

“Throughout the pandemic, PUA has been a critical lifeline for workers who are historically excluded from traditional unemployment compensation, such as gig workers, recent college graduates, contract workers, and the self-employed,” Davis said. “Low-wage and minority workers are also more likely to be part of this excluded workforce and are now left with little support during the Delta variant surge, a new school year, and an unemployment rate that remains well above pre-pandemic levels.”

Davis said while the federal government ceased funding the PUA directly, the state legislature can and must step in to resume this critical program. He said his proposed legislation would utilize unspent American Rescue Plan dollars to fully fund the PUA program through the end of the year.

“Pennsylvanians have stopped receiving help, but make no mistake, they’re still in need,” Davis said. “We have money available to reinstate this safety net for people who’ve been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and we need to ensure they receive the help they need as they work to acquire well-paid, life-sustaining employment.”

Davis said he plans to introduce his legislation soon.