5/29/20 COVID-19 Update

  • Testimony deadline on emergency paid sick time bill is today at 5 p.m.
  • Fiscal watchdog group warns economic recovery could take five years
  • $50 billion childcare stabilization bill filed in Congress to save the industry from destruction
  • Congress modifies how money can be spent from the Paycheck Protection Program
  • Friday’s Silver Lining: A grandmother finds inventive way to hug her grandchildren

 

  1. The Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development is accepting testimony until 5 p.m. today on a pair of bills that would grant emergency paid sick time during declared states of emergency to all Massachusetts employees. The legislation, H4700/S2701, would allow the time to be used for caring for oneself or a family member with a communicable illness related to a public health emergency such as COVID-19 and require the state to reimburse employers for the costs of time off.

 

  1. The business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation is projecting that state revenues may not fully recover until 2025. While the impacts of economic downturn could be alleviated by utilizing the state’s $3.5 billion reserve or through federal COVID-19 relief funds, past recessions have proven the state could be in store for a multi-year period of austerity, according to the paper.

 

  1. A landmark bicameral piece of legislation, The Child Care is Essential Act has been filed in Congress to prevent the childcare system from collapsing. The $50 billion bill would provide grants to cover operating expenses and payroll, tuition and copayment relief for families and support for caregivers in underserved communities. Lead sponsors include Congresswoman Katherine Clark and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

 

  1. The House of Representatives voted to provide small businesses additional flexibility on how their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are spent. The bill would allow companies to spend the money through the end of the year and still qualify for the loan forgiveness. It would also more than double the repayment timeline from 2 years to 5 and it would allow for a greater percentage of funds to be used on rent and non-payroll expenses. The Senate is expected to take up the bill next week.

 

READER SUBMITTED: In a Friday morning story we could all use and some may choose to replicate, a New Jersey grandmother bought a giant inflatable unicorn costume to hug her grandchildren for the first time in two months. Grandmothers are just the

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