(The Center Square) A group of Pennsylvania lawmakers have partnered with the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association to introduce legislation that would create a grant program for hospitality and tourism businesses struggling to recover from COVID-19 shutdown orders.

House Bill 1487 is sponsored by Reps. Todd Polinchock, KC Tomlinson, Meghan Schroeder, Wendi Thomas, Shelby Labs, Frank Farry and Craig Staats, all Republicans from Bucks County.

The legislation would acquire money from the $7 billion in federal funding to bring the total funding for the County Block Grant – Hospitality Industry Recovery Program to $500 million. The grant program would be dedicated to supporting COVID-19 relief for restaurants and lodging and would provide for entities that were previously denied grants.

“Without our help, the hospitality industry will continue to flounder,” Polinchock said in a news release. “Although most restrictions are scheduled to be lifted, the detrimental impacts of prior restrictions will last for years. The industry will need our continued support getting back to the thriving industry it once was, long after restrictions are lifted. These businesses are part of the patchwork of our communities that bring people together and make our towns special.”

The bill is awaiting action in the House Commerce Committee.