Senator Martin E-Newsletter

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In This Update:

  • Senate Will Convene to Work on 2020-21 State Budget, COVID-19 Funding
  • New Helpline Established for PUA Claimants
  • License to Carry Firearm Permits Extended to July 31
  • New Guidelines Released for FBI Background Checks

Senate Will Convene to Work on 2020-21 State Budget, COVID-19 Funding

The Senate will reconvene this week to focus on ensuring funding is available in the months ahead to support critical programs and services affected by COVID-19. In addition to working on the state budget, lawmakers are expected to consider legislation related to federal funding that was distributed to the state from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

All committee activity, floor debates and votes will be streamed live at

New Helpline Established for PUA Claimants

The Department of Labor and Industry recently opened a new phone line to help Pennsylvanians who have questions or concerns pertaining to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Claimants can call 855-284-8545 for assistance from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Claimants can also get help via email at

The new helpline is for PUA claimants only. Individual who have questions about the state’s regular Unemployment Compensation program can call 888-313-7284 or email

License to Carry Firearms Permits Extended to July 31

Individuals who have a license to carry firearms permit that expired on or after March 19 will now have their permits extended until July 31. The extension will give Pennsylvanians additional time to renew permits since many county courthouses and sheriff’s offices are closed or limiting services during COVID-19.

More information from the Pennsylvania State Police on carrying firearms is available here.

New Guidelines Released for FBI Background Checks

Many individuals who are required to complete a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background check as a condition of employment have run into problems due to a lack of available fingerprinting services during the COVID-19 pandemic. I supported a new law the Senate approved in April that extends the time period for workers to complete background checks.

New guidance from the Department of Human Services offers more information about mobile fingerprinting, treatment of new hires, special requirements for child care employees, renewals, recertification and more.


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