President Trump signed into law the "Phase II" coronavirus relief package (HR 6201) on March 18 that includes provisions for paid emergency leave.
Among its many provisions, Phase II of HR 6201 requires employers with fewer than 500 workers to provide corona-affected individuals with paid sick and family leave, and creates tax credits for such employers to partially offset the new benefit obligations.
It also expands food and nutrition services, allows for emergency state unemployment insurance grants, and increases Medicaid funding to states, among other things.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to release his "Phase III" bill today. The content of the "Phase III" stimulus package remains unknown, but is expected to be a bigger stimulus package.
However, there is the potential for $250 billion in direct payments to Americans beginning in April 6, with another $250 billion round in May 18. Indications are that this will be progressive and income-based.
The proposal from Treasury also includes $200 billion in industry aid (including $50 billion for airlines), with conditions on executive pay along with aid to small/medium-sized businesses.
A huge component of this bill is likely to be loans and/or grants to small and medium sized businesses, especially those that are "travel-dependent." NATSO is actively working to ensure travel centers are included in this category.
NATSO, along with other food-service trade groups, sent a letter to Congressional leaders March 18 asking for a Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP) waiver to permit SNAP beneficiaries to purchase hot prepared foods in addition to the other foods that these benefits cover.
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