4/15/20 COVID-19 Update

  • Eighty million Americans start to receive stimulus checks today
  • State economy facing unprecedented times
  • Newton state Senator files vote-by-mail legislation
  • First-time gun purchases reach all-time high
  • Massachusetts high court to hear ballot signature case
  • Trump cuts off new funding for the World Health Organization
  • Recreational cannabis shops get their day in court
  • Lessons in Leadership: Women led countries have the best COVID-19 outcomes

 

  1. S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expects 80 million Americans will receive a their coronavirus direct deposit today. Single adults earning up to $75,000 are eligible for $1,200, while married couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $2,400 and eligible parents will receive an additional $500 for each child under 17. The benefit reduces for those earning over $75,000 up to $99,000. Americans are receiving their stimulus checks later than anticipated after Treasury Secretary Mnuchin ordered President Trump’s name be printed on each check.

 

  1. Economists across Massachusetts testified at a virtual legislative budget hearing yesterday and their predictions are gloomy. Many spoke of the inevitable global recession and, here in Massachusetts, predictions on the 2021 declining tax revenue ranged from $4.4 billion to $5.7 billion which accounts for a significant portion of the state’s operating revenue. State budget writers are faced with crafting a budget due July 1 will be relying heavily on federal funds from The CARES Act and drawing on the state’s 3.48 billion rainy day fund to maintain services throughout the Commonwealth.

 

  1. State Senator Cynthia Creem (D-Newton) filed a bill, D. 2910, that would allow early voting by mail ahead of the September state primary and November general elections and provide poll workers with personal protective equipment. The state Senate could take it up as soon as tomorrow.

 

  1. Monthly firearm background checks reached a seven-year high in just the month of March as 23,500 residents purchased firearms, presumably in response to COVID-19 anxiety. Massachusetts, which is of three “license to own” states, where a person must have a valid license to legally possess a gun, saw an additional 22,000 active license applications from January to April. The total number of gun licenses in Massachusetts is now 464,000.

 

  1. With the Legislature at a standstill on whether to reduce the number of voter signatures needed to secure a place on the ballot, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is scheduled to hear arguments by telephone on Thursday in the lawsuit brought by candidates seeking to force the change.

 

  1. President Trump announced he will suspend payments to the World Health Organization in response to the United Nations handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes as the organization battles a global outbreak that has killed thousands and decimated economies around the world.

 

  1. A coalition of recreational cannabis shops and a military veteran who sued Governor Baker last week had their day in virtual court yesterday. If the emergency injunction is approved, recreational cannabis companies could assume operations immediately. A ruling is anticipated today or tomorrow.

 

  1. Leaders of Germany, Taiwan, New Zealand, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Denmark have two things in common – the lowest death rates from COVID-19 and they’re all led by women. Coincidence?
2020-04-15T10:59:07+00:00