Jan. 26, 2022

HARRISBURG – The House today sent legislation to the governor to disburse federal COVID-19 funding to hospitals and frontline health care workers who have served tirelessly during the pandemic, said Rep. Jason Ortitay (R-Washington/Allegheny), who introduced similar legislation last year to assist health care workers and fire and EMS companies.

“I don’t think anyone could have fathomed that the COVID-19 pandemic would still be straining our health care system almost two years later,” Ortitay said. “The men and women working in our hospitals and for our ambulance services are exhausted. This is just a small way to thank them and encourage them continue their selfless acts.”

House Bill 253 would allocate a total of $225 million to hospitals and their employees. More specifically, the legislation would send:

• $100 million to acute care general hospitals.
• $110 million to critical access hospitals, facilities with a high volume of Medicaid patients, and behavioral/psychiatric providers of inpatient services.
• $15 million to the PA Student Loan Relief for Nurses Program.

The legislation would require the funding to be directed to retention and recruitment programs for staff. Hospital executives and administration, contracted staff and physicians would not be eligible for payments under the bill. The funding would only be directed to nurses and other hospital employees.

In the near future, both chambers are committed to passing legislation to direct $25 million to EMS and fire companies. The governor has voiced support for both bills.

The legislation Ortitay introduced last year was House Bills 743 and 1192.

The 46th Legislative District includes Collier and South Fayette townships and Bridgeville, Heidelberg, McDonald and Oakdale boroughs in Allegheny County. It also encompasses Canton, Cecil, Mt. Pleasant, Robinson and Smith townships and Burgettstown, McDonald and Midway boroughs in Washington County.

Representative Jason Ortitay
46th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tracy Polovick
RepOrtitay.com / Facebook.com/RepOrtitay