ISSA Advocacy Recap—Healthy Workplaces Tax Credit Introduced in HouseMarch 19, 2021
Welcome to the ISSA Advocacy Recap, our regular roundup of the latest public policy issues impacting the cleaning industry. This week’s recap touches on the Healthy Workplaces Act being introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, the House approving a 60-day Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) extension, two new immigration bills, and more.
Bipartisan Healthy Workplaces Act Introduced in House of Representative
ISSA, in coordination with its more than 50 coalition partners, thanks U.S. Representatives Tom Rice (R-SC), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Darin LaHood (R-IL), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) for introducing the Healthy Workplaces Act to provide a tax credit for critical expenses associated with protecting employees from COVID-19. This bipartisan, bicameral bill also was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
House Approves Small Business PPP Extension
The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a 60-day extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to May 31, Reuters reported. Launched a year ago as part of a major COVID-19 aid bill, the program set loans for small businesses that were struggling as the United States went into a lockdown in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Senate is expected to take up the legislation next week.
House Passes Two Immigration Bills
Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed two bills that would establish paths to citizenship or legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants, including those brought to the country unlawfully as children and workers in the agriculture sector, according to CNBC. The legislation was passed largely along partisan lines, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed. The bills are narrower than the comprehensive immigration package introduced in February with the support of U.S. President Joe Biden.
OSHA Launches Program to Protect High-Risk Workers from Coronavirus
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a national emphasis program focusing enforcement efforts on companies that put the largest number of employees at serious risk of contracting COVID-19. OSHA’s new initiative is in response to an executive order from U.S. President Joe Biden on worker health and safety. The program also prioritizes penalties against organizations that retaliate against employees for complaints of unhealthy or unsafe working conditions. OSHA will enforce the program through enhanced monitoring and inspections.
California Legislators Take Aim at Plastics with New Bill Package
California lawmakers reintroduced a bill that would require all single-use disposable packaging to be recyclable or compostable by January 2032, according to Waste Dive. As currently written, the bill leaves out a major part of previous versions, which had required single-use plastic packaging to have a 75% recycling or composting rate by 2032. Bill sponsors anticipate SB 54 will undergo further updates as the legislative session progresses.
Other links of interest