Pa. opens up grants to nonprofits, vulnerable to hate crimes, looking to shore up security | Tuesday Morning Coffee

The Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh. (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

Good Tuesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

The Wolf administration has opened up applications for this year’s round of $5 million worth of grant money for nonprofit organizations, vulnerable to hate crimes, that are looking to shore up their security.

The state’s Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program was authorized by legislation signed into law in November 2019. Its creation was spurred by the deadly attack on Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue the year before.

The first round of grants were awarded last year.

In a statement, the administration said successful applicants can use the money to pay for “security enhancements designed to protect the safety and security of the users of a facility located in the commonwealth that is owned or operated by the nonprofit organization.”

That can include:

  • Safety and security planning and training;
  • Purchase of safety and security equipment and technology;
  • Upgrades to existing structures that enhance safety and security; and
  • Vulnerability and threat assessments.
Gov. Tom Wolf speaks at a Middletown child care center Tuesday, August 25 to roll out his fall agenda, including legal weed. (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

“These grants expand the school safety and security grants introduced in 2019,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement. “And will continue to help our many nonprofits address security needs and any safety concerns that exist for religious, social and other nonprofit organizations across the commonwealth.”

Applicants can find the application and information about the program on PCCD’s website. Grant awards will range from $5,000 to $150,000, the administration said. Applications, which will be reviewed on a rolling basis, close on Feb. 3.

Applications will be evaluated by representatives of PCCD, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, with awards being considered at PCCD’s March 10 meeting, the administration said.

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

Our Stuff.
After a slow start, Pa. Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says she’s hopeful the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations will increase in 2021, Elizabeth Hardison reports.

House and Senate Democrats have floated an eviction moratorium plan: ‘We want people to live and thrive in their homes,’ one lawmaker said Monday.

In Philadelphia, two physicians, who also are twin sisters, are raising their voices to encourage the city’s Black and Brown residents to consider getting the coronavirus vaccine, our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune report.

On our Commentary Page this morning, America needs a smooth Trump-Biden handoff. It’s not going to get one. Opinion regular Fletcher McClellan explains what’s at stake with that not happening. And opinion regular Charles D. Allen says the mission for 2021 is to end the separation between the two Americas.

(Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek)

Elsewhere.
County election officials want a say in voting reform, but politics may complicate thatSpotlight PA reports (via the Inquirer).
It will be months before the general public has access to the COVID-19 vaccine, the Tribune-Review reports.
PennLive runs down the list of businesses that closed in central Pennsylvania in 2020.
Northampton County Prison has had fewer positive COVID-19 tests recently, LehighValleyLive reports.
The Citizens-Voice looks at how NEPA projects could benefit from federal spending bills.

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WHYY-FM talks to Pennsylvania businesses who are warily eyeing the future
Some state lawmakers are pushing for changes that would make it easier to pass legislationWESA-FM reports.
State officials are monitoring the new COVID-19 strain, GoErie reports.
As voters head to the polls today, Politico runs down the state of play in the Georgia runoff.

What Goes On.
The 2021 legislative session officially begins as the House and Senate are sworn-in at noon today for another two years’ worth of head-shaking decisions and actual lawmaking. It’s prefaced by an ‘Election Integrity’ rally on the Capitol steps at 10:30 a.m.

Heavy Rotation.
One of the unexpected gifts of the holiday season was a new solo album from Sir Paul McCartney, ‘McCartney III,’ the latest installment of an experimental series of releases that stands apart from the former mop-top’s more formal solo releases. Written and recorded entirely in lockdown, the LP finds the septuagenarian McCartney delving into themes of aging and mortality. Here’s one of the standout tracks, ‘Slidin’,’ a squall of guitar rock that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Arctic Monkeys’ record.

Tuesday’s Gratuitous Soccer Link. 
The January transfer window is officially open. As is its custom, the Guardian runs down the hottest transfer rumors that are sailing through it.

And now you’re up to date.

John L. Micek
A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press