Senator Yaw Talks 2021-22 State Budget, COVID-19 and Relief for Small Businesses During GSVCC Event

HARRISBURG – State Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) on Friday was the featured speaker for a virtual legislative update with the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce (GSVCC).

The event, titled “Rise & Shine: It’s Budget Time” is part of a series of early morning briefings hosted virtually by the GSVCC Transportation and Governmental Affairs Committees. Registration was free and open to the general public.

During the discussion, Senator Yaw discussed a number of important matters including deliberations surrounding the 2021-22 state budget, as well as important workforce-related information provided by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania and the impact of COVID-19 on rural communities.

“It is absolutely mind-boggling that Governor Wolf is proposing a massive increase of more than $3 billion that comes directly out of Pennsylvanians’ paychecks at a time when many families and small employers are struggling just to get by,” Sen. Yaw said.   “The Personal Income Tax hike would increase the amount of state tax paid out of many Pennsylvanians’ paychecks by a staggering 46 percent.  If you check your pay stub and find the line for state taxes, and you want to pay 46 percent more, then Governor Wolf’s plan is for you.  The entire approach of this budget shows how out of touch the governor is with main street and blue-collar workers.”

Highlighting statistics from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania (CRP), Yaw noted that, from a health perspective, the pandemic has been worse in the Central Susquehanna Valley than statewide.  “Since the beginning of the pandemic in early March 2020, the region has seen 16,955 cases of COVID-19, or 8,723 per 100,000 residents.  The statewide rate is 6,876 per 100,000 residents.”

A few other statistics identified by the CRP were:

  • Region’s rates have been increasing:  The number of cases in the region began to climb rapidly after Thanksgiving.  Between December 1 and February 16 there were, on average, 159 new cases per day.
  • Region has a higher death rate: Since the Pandemic begin, there have been 513 deaths in the Central Susquehanna Valley, or 264 per 100,000.  The Statewide rate is 178 per 100,000 residents.
  • Region has a higher vaccination rate:  As of February 10, more than 18,900 Central Susquehanna Valley residents have received their first vaccination, or 9,726 vaccinations per 100,000 residents.  The statewide rate, excluding Philadelphia, is 6,255 per 100,000 residents.

During the discussion, Yaw also noted state and federal assistance to counties in the Central Susquehanna Valley.

“In the first draw of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), 1,857 organizations (business and nonprofit) in the Central Susquehanna Valley received assistance.  This assistance totaled $242.9 million, or $130,832 per establishment.”

A few other statistics identified by the CRP were:

  • As of January 31, 2021, 423 organizations in Central Susquehanna Valley have enrolled in the second draw of the PPP. These organizations have received $36.8 million or $86,937 per organization.  The second draw of the PPP have ensured a steady paycheck for 423 workers in the region.

CARES Act Funding

  • County Commissioners in each of the Central Susquehanna Valley counties received a total of $18.0 million in COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant, or $90 per person.
  • Each of the four counties in the Central Susquehanna Valley assigned a portion of their Relief Block Grant to fund broadband expansion.  The total amount assigned was $2.9 million.

COVID-19 Relief Small Business Assistance

  • As of December 31, 2020, 72 small businesses in the Central Susquehanna Valley received a total of $1.2 million in relief assistance, or $16,875 per business.

Household Stimulus Check

  • Combining the first and second federal stimulus checks, it is estimated that the residents of the Central Susquehanna Valley received $133.5 million.

All total, it is estimated that the Central Susquehanna Valley has received $448.1 million in some form of COVID relief payment according to information provided by the CRP.

Yaw serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a bipartisan, bicameral legislative research agency of the Legislature.

For more state-related news and information visit Senator Yaw’s website at or on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.


Nick Troutman

(717) 787-3280

Back to Top