House and Senate Pass Legislation to Support Workers Effected by the Public Health Emergency

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo along with his colleagues in the House of Representatives and Senate, 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, 2020.

“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.”

“Public health crises disproportionately impact the working class. We cannot begin to predict how vital this regulatory change will become over the next several weeks,” said Senator Joe Boncore (D-Winthrop). “I am grateful to Governor Baker and our House colleagues for collaborating with the Senate to quickly pass this legislation. The Legislature will continue to identify ways to support those impacted by COVID-19.”

“During this trying time, I am proud that the House was able to act quickly on legislation that will help our workforce gain unemployment insurance in an expedited fashion,” said Representative RoseLee Vincent (D-Revere).  “I thank Speaker DeLeo for his leadership in ensuring swift passage of this bill, and I am hopeful many constituents in the Sixteenth Suffolk District who are impacted by this pandemic will be able to benefit from its enactment.”

“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 House. On March 19 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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