OTHER NEWSThe Vote Must Go On: States Prep for Primaries as Virus Looms
Following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many public gatherings and events have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic for the next eight weeks. This is challenging news as the four primaries scheduled for this week are going ahead as planned. Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio, while encouraging early voting or voting by mail, have not canceled primary contests scheduled for Tuesday, March 17. As state election officials scramble to move polling places out of senior living facilities and ensure there are ways for voters to avoid large crowds, it’s not clear whether states with upcoming elections will get any immediate help from Congress. Congress’ response so far has been focused on a package to address the fast-moving
health and economic crisis. ‘Everyone’s Losing Money’: Coronavirus Strains Small Businesses in Seattle
As the nation buckles down to control the spread of Covid-19, there are growing concerns about how bad the economic fallout will be for the country. Small businesses in Seattle, one of the first states to experience the virus, are seeing fewer customers and in some cases closing their doors altogether. All around the country this week business owners, especially those with restaurants, are very concerned about covering rent and labor costs with cratering revenues. At the federal level, the coronavirus package Trump signed last week
included provisions that could enable the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide an estimated $7 billion in loans to small businesses and other entities. The president is also calling for an increase in funding for SBA loans to aid businesses affected by the virus and he’s pushing for a temporary suspension of Social Security payroll taxes. ‘Climate Action Is Crucial.’ Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Orders Sweeping Executive Action to Combat Climate Change
Oregon Governor Kate Brown ordered the state to lower greenhouse gas emissions on Tuesday, directing a state agency to set and enforce caps on pollution from industry and transportation fuels. Governor Brown’s sweeping executive order
aims to reduce carbon emissions to at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2035 and an 80% reduction from 1990 levels by 2050. Republican lawmakers, a minority in the state legislature, staged a walkout during this year’s short session to sabotage a bill that aimed at many of the same climate goals. The boycott caused the session to end two days early with only three bills passed and more than 100 dying, including the climate measure.