House Passes Legislation to Support Workers Affected by the Public Health Emergency

Last week House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and Rep. Joseph McGonagle, along with their colleagues in the House of Representatives, passed legislation to waive the one-week waiting period for workers seeking unemployment insurance benefits related to, or resulting from, the COVID-19 pandemic or the effects of the State of Emergency declared by Governor Baker on March 10.

“Massachusetts workers drive our economy, and the action we took today will help thousands of individuals and families as we confront the economic effects of this public health crisis,” said Speaker DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “I am grateful to my colleagues in the House for their work to addressing the urgent needs relating to the outbreak. I am proud of the work Chair Michlewitz did to move this legislation so quickly.”

“I am very proud to be a part of the Legislature for prioritizing such a profound piece of legislation,” said McGonagle. “In these uncertain times, we need all of our residents to be certain that we are doing our best to protect them, and waiving the unemployment waiting period is a huge step for that. Thank you to Speaker DeLeo and Chair Michlewitz for their leadership in passing this.”

“Ensuring that workers have immediate access to unemployment benefits is critical,” said Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means (D-Boston). “I want to thank my colleagues in the House and our partners in the Senate and the Baker administration for moving this legislation along so quickly so that people can receive expedited benefits.”

On March 18, the bill passed in the Senate, and the Governor signed it into law.

The following list is a summary of House action taken in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis since the State of Emergency declaration on March 10.

•On March 12, the House and Senate approved a $15 million fund in response to the coronavirus outbreak. One March 13, the Governor signed it into law.

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