Upper House and Senate Democrats agree COVID-19 relief for workers and mass employers

Main Democrat MPs in Massachusetts announced on Monday that they had reached agreement on a COVID-19 stimulus bill that aims to help workers and employers.

According to an outline of the agreement, it includes measures regarding tax breaks for some unemployed people, paid leave related to COVID-19 and vaccinations, relief from planned increases in unemployment insurance rates and exemption from unemployment insurance rates. state taxes on paycheck protection program grants.

Senate Speaker Karen Spilka, House Speaker Ronald Mariano and Ways and Means Committee Chairs, Representative Aaron Michlewitz and Senator Michael Rodrigues announced the bill in a joint statement, in which they said they would seek to pass legislation quickly but did not set a timetable for action.

The four Democrats said they had agreed on “targeted tax relief for the unemployed whose income falls below 200% of the poverty line,” a penalty waiver for missed tax payments on unemployment insurance benefits received in 2020, and access to paid time off for workers who need time off because they contract COVID-19, are ordered to quarantine, or need time off to get vaccinated.

“Finally, the bill will prevent increases in the unemployment insurance rate schedule for 2021 and 2022, providing employers with the stability and relief needed as the Commonwealth continues to recover,” the statement said. “The deal also allows for government borrowing, secured by a temporary employer valuation, to ensure the solvency of the UI trust fund. we have agreed to comply with the current federal tax code to exclude canceled PPP loans from gross income for small businesses organized as flow-through entities. “

Earlier today, a group of predominantly Republican lawmakers joined the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance for a press conference calling for swift action to waive state P3 taxes.

The Chamber is due to meet on Wednesday in an informal session: the Senate will then meet in an informal session on Thursday.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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