ISSA Advocacy Recap—State-Level COVID-19 Workplace Rules Challenged in Court

November 6, 2020 ISSA Advocacy Recap—State-Level COVID-19 Workplace Rules Challenged in Court

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 state-level COVID-19 workplace rules being challenged in court, the U.S. Federal Reserve easing the terms of its Main Street Lending Program, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives releasing a COVID-19 relief bill, and more.

State-Level COVID-19 Workplace Rules Go to Court
In July, Virginia became the first state to implement an emergency temporary standard that requires employers to establish coronavirus protection plans. Two months later, the state was hit with a lawsuit brought in the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond by the Virginia Manufacturers Association, alleging that Governor Ralph Northam and the state’s Safety and Health Codes Board violated the Virginia Administrative Process Act when they did not follow proper rulemaking procedures, Bloomberg Law reported. More cases are anticipated as places like Oregon and California finalize COVID-19 specific rules in the absence of a uniform federal standard and the need to meet a patchwork of state requirements will create an “inevitable burden” to litigate, said Kathryn M. McMahon, a partner in Conn Maciel Carey’s Washington, D.C. office.

Fed Eases Terms of Main Street Lending Program to Help More Small Businesses
The U.S. Federal Reserve is changing the rules of its Main Street Lending Program to help smaller businesses that have been struggling to get by while waiting for additional stimulus from Congress, according to CNN. The Fed announced it would issue loans as low as US$100,000 and reduce the fees for the loans. Previously the minimum amount the Fed would lend was $250,000. Businesses have been pressing for greater access to the Fed program, saying that they needed money that was not available from banks.

U.S. House GOP Unveils COVID Relief Bill
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-R), House Ways and Means Ranking Member Kevin Brady (TX-R), Representative Richard Hudson (NC-R), Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Greg Walden (OR-R), and Appropriations Ranking Member Kay Granger (TX-R) recently released the Commitment to Defeat the Virus and Keep America Healthy Act (H.R. 14). The legislation provides a series of targeted proposals on pandemic preparedness, domestic manufacturing and supply chain, the Strategic National Stockpile, public health infrastructure, COVID-19 health disparities, and COVID health impacts on mental health and substance use. Of note, a “healthy workplace tax credit,” which ISSA strongly supports, is included as part of this bill.

Florida Eighth State to Adopt $15 Minimum Wage
Florida voters passed an amendment to increase the minimum wage from $8.56 an hour to $15 an hour by 2026, making Florida the eighth state to adopt a $15 minimum wage, Fast Company reported. As in other states, the amendment will gradually increase the wage floor over the next six years, raising it to $10 next year and then increasing it by $1 each year until the minimum wage reaches $15 in 2026.

Strengthen the Voice of the Cleaning Industry
Now more than ever, policymakers and regulators actively seek out and listen to ISSA because of our increased visibility and importance. The recent elections mark the beginning of the critical advocacy work that ISSA will do to support our members and the cleaning industry in 2021 and beyond. Your contribution of $50 or more today to the ISSA Advocacy Fund will help us continue to make an impact in Washington, D.C. and throughout the 50 states.

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