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Continued Updates on COVID-19

For continued updates on COVID-19 and our community, please visit my website.

Coping with COVID-19

LGBTQ+ Month

In June we celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month and the U.S. Supreme Court joined the celebration with a 6-3 ruling that the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights law protects workers from being fired over their sexual orientation.  The decision by the conservative high court is great news for everyone who believes in equal rights but there is still work to do. It is unclear at this time how the ruling will affect housing and other public accommodation, so Pennsylvania should still act on Senate Bill 614.  It is 2020, and no one should be discriminated against. For more information on my efforts with anti-discrimination legislation, please click here.

Love is Love

City of Philadelphia Updates

Reopening Guidance for New Yellow Phase Activities

While the Governor authorized Philadelphia County to move to “Green” effective June 26, based on local targets for progress, city officials will not allow Green Phase activities to begin until at least July 3. A limited number of activities will be able to resume on June 26, while the city is still in the Yellow Phase, including: 

  • Residential swimming pools and private swim clubs
  • Zoos (outside only)
  • Personal services such as salons, barbers, and spas
  • Small indoor social and religious gatherings (up to 25 people)

Guidance for these activities has been posted on the City’s website. Reopening guidance for the industries that will resume operations during Philadelphia’s Reopening with Care” or Green Phase will be available later this week. 

Fireworks Warning Issued

City officials today issued a reminder about the dangers of setting off fireworks in neighborhoods. The city has received many complaints about fireworks going off at all hours–disrupting sleep, causing anxiety in people and pets, and generally interfering with residents’ quality-of-life.

The Philadelphia Code historically banned the use and sale of fireworks within the City, but state legislation from 2017 forced Philadelphia to legalize consumer fireworks. Nevertheless, Philadelphia can and does substantially restrict fireworks in certain ways:

  • The Philadelphia Fire Code bans the use of consumer fireworks within 150 feet of occupied properties. 
  • The Fire Code also prohibits people from setting off fireworks on public or private land without permission of the owner.  
  • High-explosive fireworks known as Class M, such as M-80s, are illegal in the city and, again, are incredibly dangerous.  
  • It’s also against the law to sell fireworks on the street without a license. Residents should call 9-1-1 if they see someone selling fireworks illegally on the street or in a tent. 

Residents who observe high-explosive fireworks or fireworks close to occupied properties, wish to report a late-night noise violation, or witness sales of fireworks, can dial 9-1-1 or call their local police district. Residents should keep in mind that enforcement is difficult, particularly since the folks setting off the fireworks have usually left the area by the time officers arrive.

SBA – New Grants and Loans for Small Businesses and Independent Contractors: The EIDL Program

SBAOn June 15, the SBA announced the reopening of its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grant and loan program. Independent contractors are eligible to receive $1,000 grant that does not need to be repaid, and small businesses and agricultural businesses may also apply for a grant that will equal up to $1,000 per employee up to a maximum of $10,000. The application can be found at

For more information and questions, please contact my office at

COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business AssistanceCOVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance

The Department of Community and Economic Development has been allocated $225 million for COVID-19 relief to small businesses through a distribution to Community Development Financial Institutions. The application will be released in the next couple of weeks. I will send an email when the application goes live. In the meantime, visit the website to read over the guidelines and details of the grant.

For more information and questions, please contact my office at

Blight Remediation Program

Blight Remediation ProgramWe hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this difficult time. A new program aimed at reducing blight in the Commonwealth is now available through the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA). The program will open on June 1st and close on July 31st, 2020. Applications are submitted through the Electronic Single Application portal. Prior to determining whether you will submit an application please carefully review the guidelines.

Eligible projects include:

  • Demolition and clearing of blighted property and property impacted by natural disaster.
  • Planning projects that “lay the groundwork” for future land acquisition, redevelopment and/or management of blighted properties.
  • Acquisition of blighted, abandoned, and tax-delinquent properties, and properties impacted by natural disaster, to include related closing and settlement costs.
  • Rehabilitation or reconstruction of blighted properties and/or properties impacted by natural disaster to include activity necessary to remediate safety hazards or improve the appearance of the property.

Administrative costs shall not exceed 2% of the grant award with the exception of Land Banks whose administrative costs shall not exceed 4% of the grant award. A 10% match is required. Planning grants may not exceed $25,000; Remediation grants may not exceed $300,000.

For more information and questions, please contact my office at

$2.1 Million in COVID-19 Relief to PA District 1

I am proud to announce that PA District 1 small businesses have been awarded more than $2M in COVID-19 relief funding. Grateful to @PIDCphila for expertise and guidance. For the full list and article, please visit my website.

The Budget

Senator Larry Farnese

Over the past year, in dozens of meetings with parents, teachers and students, I made the commitment to fixing toxic schools my top priority.

On May 28, despite respect for my colleagues' ability to compromise in tough times, I kept my word.

For my full comments on the budget, click here.

Unemployment Compensation Updates

Unemployment Compensation Updates

Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation system continues to see glitches due to high volume of use. Go to PA Department of Labor website frequently to see their instructions on workarounds.

If your income is affected by business closure related to COVID-19, you may be eligible for unemployment and online application.  PA is waiving certain waiting periods and urging online applications. For information visit

Workers can get information on the latest unemployment news here.

If you are having issues with your UC application, please contact my office at 215-952-3121 or email

Philadelphia – Food Distribution

Philadelphia is still providing food at select sights for those effected by COVID-19. There is no need for ID or proof of income. For more information and pick-up sites locations, click here.

Food Sites

PCA – Available Resources for Seniors

There are many resources available to Seniors through PCA to help with the COVID-19 relief with meals. This includes home delivered meals, SNAP Benefits, meals at Senior Centers, and emergency resources. For more information and details, click here.

New Tax Related Deadlines

Federal and State Taxes will now be due on July 15, 2020.

Federal and State Taxes will now be due on July 15, 2020.

The PA Property Tax and Rent Rebate deadline has been extended through the end of the year, December 31, 2020.

For more information, please contact my office at or by phone at 215-952-3121.

Online Resource for Those Seeking Work

Employement Opportuniites

PA Department of Labor and Industry has created an online resource for displaced workers seeking employment in essential industries. For more information, click here.

SEPTA Updates

COVID-19 Rider Etiquette - SEPTA

Multi-Faith Pray and Act Initiative

The Metropolitan Christian Council of Philadelphia, Redemption Housing, and Interfaith Philadelphia invite you and your faith community to participate in the Greater Philadelphia Multi-faith Pray and Act Initiative.

In the midst of collective distress, our respective faith traditions provide spaces for lament, offer us guidance, and lead us to justice and renewal.  Toward this goal, on Monday, June 15, region-wide clergy launched a seven-week Pray and Act initiative, offering residents and community members the opportunity to share their frustrations, concerns, and hopes for their community.  The initiative will follow the schedule below:

Monday, June 22, 29;  July 6, 13, 20, and 27:  Daily Prayer and Action 

Prayer and Action Times (clergy sign up for 30-minute increments):

  • 8:30 - 9:00 AM
  • 12:30 - 1:00 PM
  • 4:30 - 5:00 PM

Prayer and Action Stations will be set up throughout each neighborhood, in meaningful gathering spaces in the community.  Upon registering, MCCP leadership will work with you to assign you to a Pray and Act Station in your community. 

For more information and details please contact Rev. Dr. Donna Lawrence Jones, Executive Director, MCCP at or by phone at (267) 886-3139.

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Offices of State Senator Larry Farnese | Contact Me
1802 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19145
Phone: 215-952-3121
Fax: 215-952-3155
543 Main Capitol | Box 203001
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3001
Phone: 717-787-5662
Fax: 717-787-4531