Sen. Collins, Rep. Biele Support Legislation for Workers Affected by COVID-19

Last week, State Senator Nick Collins and State Representative David Biele joined their colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives in passing emergency 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.

“In this time of uncertainty, we are doing everything we can to protect the public from both health risks and financial consequences,” said Senator Collins. “By expanding access to unemployment benefits we are committing to helping workers and families get back on their feet.” 

“This legislation will ensure that workers across Massachusetts have immediate access to unemployment benefits,” said Rep. Biele.  “I’m grateful to my colleagues for expediting this important legislation which will provide crucial support for individuals and families in our workforce impacted by COVID-19.”

On March 18, the Governor Baker signed the bill into law and the legislation went into effect immediately.

Additionally, the Legislature previously approved a $15 million fund to support monitoring, treatment, containment, public awareness and prevention efforts against COVID-19 by the Department of Public Health, regional and local boards of health, and other public entities.  This fund was also signed into law.

In addition to these legislative measures, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities recently issued a moratorium that prohibits shut-offs of gas and electric utilities during the Commonwealth’s State of Emergency.

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