Legislative Update: Week of April 13, 2020

Apr 13, 2020


On Tuesday, Governor Baker announced that $800 million would be going to healthcare providers, hospitals, and nursing homes as part of a series to provide new resources for healthcare providers. This initiative is being developed to help stabilize the healthcare industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also on Tuesday, MassBio announced a new alliance with the Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council (MassMEDIC) to support further convergence in the life sciences and provide greater value for members.

Stimulus loans for the CARES Act began being dispersed last week. Meanwhile, Congress continues to debate an Interim Emergency COVID-19 Relief Act to expand and improve upon the Small Business Administration’s emergency relief programs for small businesses, while also better addressing public health and services crises facing the states. However, Republicans and Democrats were unable to reach a consensus on Thursday regarding what this package would include and adjourned without advancing any legislation.


Thousands of state healthcare workers will receive increased pay through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic under a new hazard pay policy finalized on Sunday.

On Tuesday, top state budget officials will remotely convene economic experts to offer their perspective about the economic turmoil caused by the non-essential business order. Because Governor Baker filed his version of the FY2021 budget before the outbreak, House and Senate leaders are expected to undergo a much more comprehensive rewrite of the initial budget.

As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens throughout the country, making travel and access to the Capitol more challenging, House Majority Leader Hoyer announced Monday a further delay to the legislative session in the House, pushing back the previously expected return date of April 20, 2020, to a new date of May 4, 2020. Senate Majority Leader McConnell announced the same date for a proposed return in the Senate. He also stated that members would receive 24 hours notice in the event they must return to Washington, D.C. for legislative business.

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