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Military Family

Says it would be, “unthinkable to let this expire” during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Harrisburg, May 28, 2020 − Senator John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) was pleased to announce Senate Bill 1076 passed unanimously (50-0) in the Senate today. The bill provides an extension of the Military Family Relief Assistance Program (MFRAP). Created in 2005, MFRAP provides grants up to $3,500 to Pennsylvania service members and their families in need.

“Since the program began almost $2 million has reached military families in need,” said Sabatina, who is a co-Prime Sponsor of this legislation. “Currently the program is set to end on June 30th. We have to prevent that under any circumstance. But now, in the middle of the coronavirus shutdown, it’s simply unthinkable to let this expire.”

The program offers grants to service members who experienced a sudden loss of income or assets as a result of military service; emergency child care needs; natural or manmade disasters resulting in the need for food, shelter and other necessities; the death or critical illness of a parent, spouse, sibling or child; or exigent circumstances beyond the eligible member’s control.

“These heroes sign up to put their lives on the line to protect our way of life,” Sabatina said. “The least we can do is make sure that we care for them in their time of need. COVID-19 is a situation the program is designed to handle.” 

Sabatina thanked his fellow prime sponsors, Senators Baker, Mensch, and Iovino, for their hard work on this important bill.

The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) supports this extension. The funding has mostly been donated by generous taxpayers filing a Pennsylvania personal income tax return and voluntarily checking off a box for this program. It also receives private donations.

The bill is now headed to the House of Representatives for further consideration by the House Veteran Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. The House is expected to support Senator Sabatina’s proposal.

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