Matzie introduces legislation to extend heating assistance deadline

Joins fellow lawmakers in package of bills to address COVID-19 impacts

AMBRIDGE, March 19 – Responding to Pennsylvania families impacted by work interruptions and other financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, state Rep. Rob Matzie today announced he is introducing legislation to extend the deadline for the Low Income Heating Assistance Program

Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, who is Democratic chairman of the House Consumer Affairs Committee, said the measure is part of a package of bills designed to ensure working families don’t lose access to essential resources.

“The COVID-19 virus swept in and changed everyone’s lives, from our work schedules to our food shopping,” Matzie said. “Working families, whose budgets are already stretched thin, stand to be the hardest hit by job interruptions, transit changes and other issues that make it difficult to access important services. It’s my priority to ensure that they don't lose access to essential services.

“That’s why I am introducing legislation that would extend the application deadline of the Low Income Heating Assistance Program until all funds are expended. As we face this challenge together, it’s critical that no one be left behind. Pennsylvanians are resilient; with some adjustments to help navigate our ‘new normal,’ we will get through this together."

Matzie noted that other bills in the package would: 

  • provide a 60-day extension for filing state income tax returns due to an emergency declaration over COVID-19.
  • provide funding for all voters to vote by mail (introduced as
    H.B. 2367).
  • direct the Department of Community and Economic Development to administer low- to no-interest emergency loans to businesses that are being hit hard by this crisis.
  • guarantee that all employees will receive emergency paid sick leave if they are not already covered by proposed federal legislationthe Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • provide an exemption from eviction for workers who are unemployed, separated from their employment, or unable to find employment when an epidemic or pandemic requires the governor to declare a state of emergency.
  • provide a 60-day grace period for the repayment of student loans to the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.
  • provide unemployment compensation for people ordered into quarantine or isolation.