Coronavirus Government Response Update—Virginia First State to Adopt Worker Safety RulesJuly 16, 2020
Welcome to the Coronavirus Government Response Update. This information is intended to keep ISSA members up to date on fast-moving government affairs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other public policy issues important to the cleaning industry. Today’s update touches on Virginia’s adoption of COVID-19 worker safety rules, ISSA calling on Congress to adopt reopening tax credits, lawmakers’ openness to making concessions on a coronavirus relief deal, and more.
Virginia First State to Adopt COVID-19 Worker Safety Rules
On Wednesday, Virginia became the first state to pass temporary new workplace safety rules designed to protect employees from the coronavirus. According to AP News, “Democrats and advocacy groups have accused the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of being largely invisible during the pandemic and failing to protect workers at high-risk sites. Instead of an emergency standard for U.S. workplaces, the agency has relied on voluntary guidance that recommends companies take various steps to erect physical barriers, enforce social distancing, and install ore hand-sanitizing stations.”
Coalition Lead by ISSA Calls on Congress for Reopening Tax Credits
ISSA is spearheading a coalition of 30 trade associations representing millions of employees and many millions more customers to urge U.S. Congress to include a tax credit in the next federal stimulus package to protect the safety of workers, customers, and the public. “Now is the time for the cleaning industry to speak up and help change the way the world views cleaning. I encourage everyone to contact their members of Congress and urge them to support a reopening safely tax credit,” said John Nothdurft, ISSA Director of Government Affairs.
Negotiators Appear Open to Trade-Offs for Coronavirus Relief Deal
As unemployment benefits hit the two-week-out mark from expiring and the annual August recess in the balance, lawmakers are indicating openness to compromise on issues such as liability protections, unemployment insurance, and direct aid to households that could otherwise prevent a bipartisan coronavirus relief deal.
U.S. Manufacturing Rebounds; New COVID-19 Cases Threaten Recovery
U.S. factory output rose by 7.2%, the most in more than 74 years in June as motor vehicle production accelerated amid the reopening of businesses. However, the outlook remains highly uncertain and depends on the pandemic’s length and impact on the economy. Factory output was still 11.1% below its level in February and contracted at a 47.0% annualized rate in the second quarter.
China’s Economy Returns to Growth Amid Global Virus Struggle
The Chinese economy grew 3.2% in June, reversing a 6.8% decline in the first quarter and surpassing the median forecast of 2.4%. According to Bloomberg, this marks an important milestone in the global struggle to climb out of the downturn induced by COVID-19. However, the world’s second biggest economy remains 1.6% smaller than a year ago
Other links of interest: