HARRISBURG – Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) has joined other female legislators from around the country in signing a letter seeking federal funding to help disadvantaged families pay for broadband service during the COVID-19 health emergency.
The letter was drafted by the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) and signed by National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) board members. Toohil currently serves as NFWL chair of international outreach.
“One of our concerns relating to the school closures resulting from COVID-19 has been the underreporting of possible cases of child abuse,” said Toohil. “This program would allow social workers and teachers to stay connected with children and youth in their communities through an online link some families otherwise could not afford.”
Specifically, the letter asks the U.S. Congress to appropriate funding in the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act toward a program that would provide monthly vouchers for broadband service to qualifying low-income consumers for the duration of the pandemic. The HEROES Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May and is currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate.
A public awareness campaign would be developed to inform consumers of support available to them through the broadband vouchers and other programs, such as the Lifeline, which provides a discount on phone service.
Representative Tarah Toohil
116th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office