4/13/20 COVID-19 Update

  • Senate bill slashes candidate signature requirement for primary ballot access
  • As COVID-19 surges and unemployment spikes, food banks are at a breaking point
  • The new normal: electronic advocacy and legislating during COVID-19
  • Commercial fishermen are on the brink and the CARES Act doesn’t provide enough relief
  • Hazard pay negotiated for nurses working in state hospitals and facilities
  • Millions of tax paying immigrants may not receive economic stimulus checks
  • Today’s Silver Lining: Cue the Duck Boats! Some Good News knocks it out of the park with Red Sox legend Big Papi.

 

  1. A bill was released from the Senate Rules committee where US Senate candidates would need to collect 5,000 signatures instead of 10,000, and House candidates would need 1,000 signatures rather than 2,000. The bill would also cut down signature requirements for candidates running for governor’s council and county offices. The bill comes a day after three first time down ballot candidates filed suit in an attempt to move the court to rule as the legislature, at the day of filing, had yet to act.

 

  1. Food banks across the Commonwealth are running out of food to meet the tremendous increase in need and volunteers to package and serve it. In Waltham at Watch City Market where they regularly serve 250-300 families, last week volunteers saw over 900 families and ran out of food in 45 minutes serving only the first 330 in line.

 

  1. The Joint Committee on Children and Families and Persons with Disabilities will host the first-ever remote legislative hearing this afternoon on a bill that would increase cash assistance and benefits to low income residents. Filed by Rep. Marjorie Decker, H4622 would allow for an additional month of aid for recipients of Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) and Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) affected by COVID-19. Registration is required to log into the zoom hearing.

 

  1. In 2018, New Bedford, Massachusetts commercial fishermen brought in over $430 million in revenue and today, many of those same companies, some of which are third or fourth generation, face bankruptcy, as economic relief offered through The Cares Act tops out at $330 million while it provides over $14 billion for raw crops, pork and dairy.

 

  1. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 93, successfully secured hazard pay for their nurses and allied health care members working at state hospitals and group homes. Many of the 6500 members will benefit with those holding a nursing license receiving a $10.00 an hour increase and all other front-line workers receiving $5.00. The raises will take effect immediately and last through the COVID-19 crisis.

 

  1. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates over 4 million immigrants who pay taxes but do not have legal status with the federal government, are ineligible for the COVID-19 economic stimulus relief checks.

 

  1. You can take the boy out of Boston but you can’t take the Boston out of the boy, as John Krasinski surprises the nurses of Beth Israel Deaconess COVID-19 unit with baseball legend and Red Sox hero David “Big Papi” Ortiz on the latest episode of his show, Some Good News.

 

 

2020-04-13T08:54:49+00:00