State lawmakers urge Ohio Medicaid director to designate Summa Well being a ‘distressed hospital’ and supply cash for hiring extra workers

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A group of state lawmakers sent a letter on Wednesday asking the Ohio Department of Medicaid for more resources for Summa Health to hire more nurses to alleviate care bottlenecks caused by a surge in coronavirus cases Omicron variant were caused.

The letter to Ohio Medicaid director Maureen Corcoran said Summa Health, which operates two hospitals in Akron and Barberton, should be viewed as a “distressed hospital” eligible for more state and federal aid to help more nurses to adjust. The hospital system manages nearly 60% of all emergency rooms in Summit, Stark, Portage, and Medina counties.

The eleven lawmakers, seven Republicans and four Democrats, urged Corcoran to allocate money from the US dollars passed by lawmakers that year to help coronavirus.

“The Summa health system is in a state of crisis,” the letter said. “We urge you to use the resources that we supported in HB 169 to create the necessary state labor incentives so that our region can cope with this crisis.”

Summa Health President and CEO Cliff Deveny said he was aware of the letter and was in regular contact with four counties’ lawmakers and state officials. The strain on Summa Health’s ability to care for patients – both with and without coronavirus – has been caused by two main factors.

“It really is a function of the exposure to the number of COVID patients,” he said. “They stay about twice as long as a typical patient, so they use up a lot more resources. Since everyone has a problem with staffing, we spend a lot more on bonuses, overtime and temporary work. “

In the letter from the legislature, the fluctuation rate in the care sector was highlighted, which is almost 15.6% and is thus well above the fluctuation rate of 9.4% in 2019 before the start of the pandemic.

HB 169 provided US $ 124 million for “hospitals with critical access, rural hospitals, or hospitals in distress,” according to Corcoran. Summa Health manages more than 68% of all inpatient care for Medicaid recipients in the four counties.

The hospital system is also so overloaded that 30% of inpatient beds are occupied by coronavirus patients. The hospital system paused dialing operations December 6, redirecting its staff to emergency, surgical and critical care. Emergency room patients wait an average of 48 hours before bed.

According to the letter, the hospital system also manages 35% of positive coronavirus cases in hospitals across the region, 49% of patients in intensive care units, and 58% of patients who require a ventilator.

“You are essentially at a turning point,” said US State Representative Casey Weinstein, a Hudson Democrat. “It’s a combination of a surge in COVID patients, the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated, which honestly means that I am close to tending to my constituents.”

State Rep. Bill Roemer, a Republican from Richfield, said he hoped the letter would convince Corcoran to send additional money to offset Summa’s cost of hiring temporary nurses.

“We need the right funding,” he said. “Summa spends $ 180 an hour on visiting nurses. That’s the problem. We want to make sure that we can attract, retain, and adequately pay the current workforce we have so that we can address the problem. “

Deveny didn’t speculate on what could happen without help, but said Summa would expect even more hospitalizations, the peaks of which tend to lag behind the daily case numbers. The state reported more than 12,800 newly confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, beating the daily record of 12,500 set on Tuesday. The hospital brought refrigerated trucks in case they needed extra space in the morgue.

“We are anticipating a larger wave of patients than we have now,” said Deveny. Plain Dealer has contacted Corcoran and the Department of Medicaid for comment.

Read the letter:

Continue reading:

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Extra money for native well being boards? Massachusetts lawmakers are engaged on it. | Central Berkshires

Local health officials in Berkshire County and across the state, which are on the forefront of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, could be standing up for an infusion of state funds. That is, if the statehouse legislators on Beacon Hill agree on a final version of the measure, as part of the $ 3.82 billion spending package Adopted by the State Senate last week.

Why it matters

According to the budget change tabled by Senator Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, who represents Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester counties, local and regional health officials would receive $ 95 million in grants aimed at cost-saving community services from small towns aim.

That would be on top of the $ 118 million earmarked for public health, according to Senate President Karen Spilka’s office. With the help of the American Rescue Plan Act and federal surpluses, the Senate bill provides more than $ 1 billion in total health care spending.

What’s at stake

Whether local health officials will see the public health reforms included in Comerford’s amendment depends on negotiations under way this week between House and Senate leaders. It is one of the few differences between the bills tabled by either side of the legislature that need to be reconciled in order to vote on a final draft ARPA spending before the winter break.

“The goal is to get the bill on the governor’s desk by Thanksgiving,” said State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox. “I’m very optimistic that things will be ironed out. I am a great champion of Tri-Town Health. “

The regional agency has served Lee, Lenox and Stockbridge since 1929.

The proposal, approved by the State Senate, adopts reforms based on a 2019 report by the Special Commission on Local and Regional Public Health. The report called on state and local officials to pay to modernize the local public health system, standardize and ensure health reporting that all local health authorities comply with existing regulations and laws.

The commission found that 78 percent of the 105 cities in Massachusetts with fewer than 5,000 residents don’t even have a single full-time public health worker. As boards of directors are funded by local wealth taxes, they also reflect existing regional economic gaps, with poorer communities generally spending less on public health.

“In Massachusetts, where you live determines how safe and healthy you are likely to be,” the commission report said.

What’s the local influence?

“While we are fortunate enough to work in communities that value our department and public health, others are not as fortunate,” said James Wilusz, general manager of Tri-Town Health, which works with seven other cities in recently formed Southern Berkshire Public Health works collaboratively. “There are serious injustices and a lack of adequate resources and personnel. We need real dollars to build and maintain an even broader public health system. “

According to Wilusz, “the pandemic has exposed significant weaknesses in our local public health systems and now is the time to act and build better regional, smaller and more efficient systems.”

“The pandemic has shown all of us the importance of monitoring the health of local people, developing, implementing and monitoring programs to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, and identifying and supporting our most vulnerable community members,” said Amy Hardt, senior public nurse for the collaboration.

The additional government funding could also benefit the Berkshire Public Health Alliance, which is overseen by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.

As COVID-19 spread in Massachusetts, some cities lacked the staff and resources to efficiently contact and communicate with state and local officials on the Massachusetts Virtual Epidemiological Network.

Health inspectors juggled their local pandemic responses, rapidly evolving advice on public health and restrictions on Baker administration, changes in contact tracing, and their day-to-day work in monitoring other diseases in their communities.

The bottom line

Under the Senate bill, the state would annually channel funds to local health authorities and regional health districts based on population, social and economic data and the existing level of shared services. Local and regional health authorities that are slow to meet the standards set by reforms could experience lower funding.

The bill calls for grants to promote multi-city sharing agreements. The grants would complement, rather than replace, existing funding received by local and regional health authorities, and would be separate from the annual funding required by the bill.

The Senate plan requires public health professionals to develop statewide standards similar to national standards for inspection, epidemiology, communicable disease investigation and reporting, permits and other local public health responsibilities, along with standards for education, professional development and data reporting.

These experts include the local board of directors for health, health organizations, academic experts, and members of the state’s special commission on local and regional public health.

According to the Senate’s bill, health departments would have to submit a report to the country by December 1 each year to prove that they were in agreement with the new standards.

Information from the State House News Service, the Boston Business Journal, and the Boston Globe was included in this report.

Soccer lawmakers to debate Tremendous Bowl-style half time exhibits

The South American football association CONMEBOL suggested last month the idea of ​​extending halftime. Photo by Buda Mendes – FIFA / FIFA via Getty Images

A proposal to extend halftime breaks for Super Bowl-style entertainment shows to 25 minutes is being discussed this month, the international football association board (IFAB) said on Friday.

South American football association CONMEBOL made the request last month, suggesting working for cup finals like the Copa Libertadores competition.

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Law 7 of football states: “Players are entitled to a break at half time, which must not exceed 15 minutes.”

The IFAB Regulatory Board has put the CONMEBOL request on the agenda for its technical advisors to discuss at remote meetings on October 27th.

In 2009, a proposal by FIFA to extend the half-time from 15 to 20 minutes was rejected. It has been criticized as a commercial move, though FIFA spearheaded the increasing time it took for players to reach the dressing rooms from the pitch.

This month’s expert meetings will also receive updates from ongoing attempts to use temporary substitutes for players suspected of having head injuries and the offside law.

The IFAB panel consists of the four British football associations and FIFA delegates. A business meeting is held in November to set the agenda for an annual legislative session in February or March.

Power cash continues to circulate to Ohio lawmakers

That paper Originally published by Ohio capitalrnal..

In order to withdraw energy money from the politics of Ohio, it takes more than a bribery scandal of historic proportions.

The campaign financial report, filed late last week, shows the campaign’s fundraising pipeline from natural gas and utilities to Ohio’s campaign account is alive and well. The majority went to Republicans, who have good control over the legislature.

By passing it even to companies that benefited from or are related to House Bill 6. Deportation, indictment and pending trial of former Ohio House chairman; Three Associated plea and denial of charges by lobbyists and a charitable black money organization for extortion; When Agreement with a prosecutor similar to First Energy Corp.’s admission of guilt. – The donations continue to flow.

For example HB6 Aid funded by the payers of two coal-fired power plants in Ohio and Indiana, owned by a cooperative called Ohio Valley Electric Corporation.

The capital of these power plants is divided into utility companies such as American Electric Power (43%), Buckeye Power (18%), Duke Energy (9%), and Dayton Power & Light Company (4.9%). The law requires a monthly fee on all private and industrial payers to support a failed coal-fired power plant – with relief worth $ 114 million in 2020 alone. Estimated $ 700 million for owners By 2030.

Between January 1 and July 31, AEP donated $ 60,500 to Republican lawmakers and Governor Mike Dewin. CEO Nick Akins donated $ 5,000 to DeWine. Four other AEP executives also gave DeWine a total of $ 5,500.

The company has not been charged with HB6-related crimes. However, this was announced earlier this year. Received corresponding subpoena from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.. According to the company’s tax records and returns, AEP was the only nonprofit funder to donate $ 700,000 to Generation Now. Current generation Condemned for his role in the plot He agreed to confiscate $ 1.5 million from the government.

Among other OVEC shareholders: Buckeye Power donated $ 41,200 to lawmakers, mostly Republicans. Duke Energy donated $ 21,000 primarily to Republicans. DP&L, now known as AES Ohio, donated $ 10,000 to Republicans.

FirstEnergy – Last week, federal prosecutors gave $ 61 million and $ 4.3 million to Generation Now, which is secretly controlled by householders. Former PUCO chairman Sam Randazzo with legal and regulatory incentives – No donations have been reported so far in 2021. Randazzo has not been charged with a crime and remains innocent in a statement last week.

In addition to utilities, the natural gas industry has invested heavily in the General Assembly as candidates prepare for the 2022 elections.

NiSource, a natural gas company and parent company from Columbus, Ohio, has donated nearly $ 62,000 to nearly $ 62,000 to Republicans.

Dominion Energy, a natural gas company, donated more than $ 26,000 to Republicans in Ohio.

Ohio-based natural gas company IGS Energy donated $ 23,000 to Ohio Republicans.

Additionally, Marathon Oil gave lawmakers $ 21,000, and almost everything was given to Republicans. The company’s CFO also donated $ 10,000 to DeWine.

Industry wins

The fossil fuel company has had two major legislative victories so far in 2021. In the meantime, the utility that owns the OVEC facility has so far blocked the vote on laws to abolish subsidies.

At midnight, the last legislative period before the summer vacation, the legislature passed Senate Law 52. County Commissioners have created a new mechanism that can end wind and solar projects early in development.. Commissioners can also block potential wind or solar projects in all or part of the unincorporated area of ​​the county.

The Commissioner has no such authority over the construction of natural gas facilities and pipelines regulated by the Ohio Electricity Location Commission.

Election funding data shows how industry funding has been concentrated in the Senate. The Energy PAC has donated $ 37,500 to the Senate Election Committee and $ 27,500 to Senate Presidents Matt Huffman and R-Lima. Senator Rob McCollie, Senator R-Napoleon, main sponsor of SB 52 and chairman of the Senate Energy and Utilities Commission, received $ 13,500.

Huffman and McCollie did not respond to requests.

Also that summer, lawmakers passed Bill 201 banning local governments from enacting laws and zoning ordinances. “Restrict, prohibit or prevent” Because people and businesses get natural gas and propane services. Major cities in the United States have enacted or proposed the following measures: Prohibiting or preventing the use of fossil fuels in new homes and buildings, According to the Wall Street Journal. Berkeley, California passed the first gas ban in 2019.

Proponents of both bills opposed comparisons between seemingly contradicting concepts – district officials could abandon the development of solar parks but limit the connection of new houses to gas pipelines. You can’t pass the law.

Last winter, under the pressure of a worsening budget scandal, the legislature abolished the massive rescue operations for two nuclear power plants that previously belonged to a subsidiary of FirstEnergy. This is an important clause of HB6. Abolition of separate “decoupling clauses” in the millions for the company..

However, the OVEC scholarship stays on the books.

legislation Dependent on the Senate Commission for Energy and Public Utilities The relief for OVEC coal-fired power plants will be abolished. The bill has not yet been voted on by the committee, which is a victory for shareholders who keep moving the bill.

What the company said

The Ohio Capital Journal contacted the companies listed in this article and asked why they were donating.

“The Dominion Energy Politician Action Committee only uses funds donated by employees to financially support Ohio candidates on a bipartisan basis,” the company said in a statement. .. “A cent does not come from a customer’s invoice. Dominion Energy employs 1,600 people and provides safe, reliable, and affordable natural gas service to 1.2 million Ohio customers. Is provided. “

Duke Energy spokeswoman Sally Teren said the company believes it should get actively involved in the energy policy process to represent its customers, communities and shareholders.

“We enable the safe delivery of increasingly clean energy solutions at reliable, affordable prices, and we support officials who support policies that are an effective voice in making important political decisions. We will continue to strengthen this principle, ”she said.

“And a unique agenda that is as active (if not more) as we are in politics and not always in the best interests of our company and our stakeholders. It is important to remember that some people insist on this. “

AEP spokeswoman Tammy Redout said the company will use PACs to participate in political processes and involve lawmakers on issues that affect their ability to provide reliable and affordable energy to their customers. ..

“Participating in the political process ensures that we hear our voices on issues that are important to our customers, shareholders, employees and the company,” she said. “PAC strives to understand candidates for public office and to work with them to understand and address solutions to problems that are important to AEP and the energy industry.”

NiSource spokesman Christopher Garland said the company’s PAC is voluntary and complies with both company policies and related election funding laws.

“We work to educate officials about the implications of our business and possible policy choices,” he said.

Marathon spokesman Jamal Cary said the company’s PAC will assist lawmakers in supporting policies that “work towards affordable and reliable energy availability to improve the quality of life.” ..

Ohio Capital Journal Part of the States Newsroom, a network of media companies supported by a federation of grants and 501c (3) donors as a public interest charity. The Ohio Capital Journal retains editorial independence. If you have any questions, please contact the editor, David DeWitt:, and follow the Ohio Capital Journal Facebook When tweet..

Lawmakers purpose to quash #MeToo-style gagging clauses that silence office abuse

Updates on diversity and equality in the workplace

Legislators in Ireland and California are trying to prevent victims of workplace abuse from being gagged by controversial contract clauses exposed by the #MeToo movement, which proponents say would have a particularly strong impact on the tech sector.

Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have teamed up with activists like Zelda Perkins, former assistant to disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, to work out changes to labor laws that would help victims of harassment and discrimination.

They hope the effort will put pressure on global tech companies, known for their widespread use of so-called nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) and with a large presence in Dublin as well as Silicon Valley.

The #MeToo movement, which began in 2017, sparked a worldwide outcry over the widespread use of NDAs by employers.

“Employers need to take responsibility for their workplaces and their operations,” said Perkins. “We’re not saying that you can never have an NDA, but that you can’t have an agreement on a legal basis that covers up harmful behavior or behavior that could harm a third party in the future.”

Perkins, the broke her NDA with the Miramax film studio to uncover allegations of sexual harassment helped design a change on Irish Labor Equality Act, which would prevent NDAs from being used to cover up discrimination based on the nine protected features of the Irish Equality Act.

The private members bill, which reached a crucial third phase last month, was drafted by independent Senator Lynn Ruane, who said she was forced to act after growing concerns about the NDAs her friends signed. The bill, which has bipartisan support, was not rejected by the government. Activists say if it wins full Senate support, it will likely happen when it moves into the Dáil Eireann (the House of Commons).

Zelda Perkins helped draft an amendment to the Irish Bill on Equality at Work © Charlie Bibby / FT

In the US, former Pinterest executive Ifeoma Ozoma, who broke her nondisclosure agreement with the tech giant last year to publicly raise allegations of racial discrimination, has teamed up Californian Senator Connie Leyva introduces the “Silenced No More” Invoice.

It aims to outlaw settlement agreements that prevent employees from talking about harassment and goes beyond existing California laws enacted in the wake of #MeToo to protect individuals who violate NDAs from factual allegations Disclose in relation to sexual harassment, assault or gender discrimination.

Ozoma hopes the bill, which will be voted on by state lawmakers in the coming weeks, will be passed and signed later this year.

“The worker protection enshrined in both bills would affect millions of people and make it easier to push for safeguards in even more jurisdictions as workers in these companies are scattered around the world,” she said, adding that choke clauses are “inhuman” be “.

Her former employer Pinterest, who has an office in Dublin, said in a statement that “the [US] Silenced No More Act “and adds,” We want every employee to feel safe, supported, and empowered to raise concerns about their work experience. ”

NDAs have long been used by businesses to protect company secrets, but are increasingly being used to silence those who are exposed to bullying and harassment in the workplace. In Britain the Department of Economic, Energy and Industrial Strategy founded in 2019 that some employers used NDAs “to intimidate whistleblowers”. [or] Hide harassment or discrimination ”.

Regulatory agencies, including the England and Wales Lawyers’ Board of Supervisors, have tried to tighten guidelines on the use of NDAs, but few governments have taken steps to revise labor law.

Activists hope that the legislative reforms will serve as a model for other countries. British Conservative MP Maria Miller told the Financial Times she would urge Westminster to take action in a 10-minute bill before Parliament in September.

Perkins said she was “optimistic” that Ireland would pass her bill, making Irish lawmakers “global leaders in providing the best employment regulation for NDAs, a precedent and submission for the UK and other lawmakers around the world”.

Nevada lawmakers setting priorities for spending $2.7 billion in reduction cash

CARSON CITY – Nevada lawmakers tabled bill on Saturday that sets spending priorities for the $ 2.7 billion federal funding the state will receive from the US Congressional bailout.

Senate Bill 486 would send $ 335 million to the Unemployment Compensation Fund, $ 20.9 million for the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic and $ 7.6 million for the food insecurity caused by the economic crisis .

Nevada will initially use the federal funds to replenish its general fund, which was decimated when revenue ceased during the pandemic-forced business closings. The exact deficit is unknown, said Chris Brooks, D-Las Vegas, who chairs the Senate finance committee.

“When the guidelines came out of the Treasury Department, they came up with a fairly complicated calculation to figure out how much your lost revenue was as a state, and you know there are many sources of revenue,” Brooks said. “You are going through this process right now.”

The rest of the money is spent on needs such as access to health care, public education, disadvantaged communities, and strengthening the state’s workforce and infrastructure.

Legislators work long hours in the last days of the session, which ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday. There is a possibility that a special meeting could be called immediately after regular time to complete the payout of the rescue plan funds, Brooks said.

Governor Steve Sisolak said the money would be “one of the largest federal dollar infusions in Nevada in history,” stressing the need to spend the money effectively.

Texas lawmakers to spend COVID-19 reduction cash in particular session

Texas lawmakers will decide, under an agreement brokered by lawmakers and Governor Greg Abbott, how to spend $ 16 billion on state coronavirus aid funds during a special term later this year.

Legislators are already expected to return to the Capitol later this year to redefine the state’s political boundaries as the federal government is delayed in providing the detailed census data needed for the restructuring process. The ordinary legislative period ends on May 31.

Abbott told lawmakers Thursday night that when they meet to draw new political districts, they will also be responsible for allocating $ 16 billion in federal aid dollars.

“I will put the allocation of the nearly $ 16 billion federal coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Relief funding on the same special call so that all lawmakers can participate in the allocation process in a way that best serves all Texans,” Abbott said in a statement .

More:Texas is expected to receive $ 45 billion in coronavirus relief, but timing is an issue

The move came after the state budget drafters cut numerous provisions in this year’s massive spending bill that would have lessened Abbott’s role in issuing federal COVID-19 bailouts and made lawmakers responsible for that.

But even though Abbott has promised to give lawmakers control over some of the available government aid, it still retains the option to allocate other buckets of government aid, including those for education and childcare.

US State Representative Donna Howard, D-Austin, said Abbott’s decision was “a step forward but unnecessary” as lawmakers previously agreed to give lawmakers the power to spend federal dollars on budget changes that have since been removed.

“There’s no reason we couldn’t just put it back in the budget now – we’re still in session,” she said. “We have already approved the amendment and could put it back in the budget. There is no reason not to. “

More:Abbott Cancels Federal Pandemic Aid To Unemployed Texans

Available dollars

Texas is about to get $ 39 billion through the American Rescue Plan Act, including $ 15.8 billion for the state and additional funding for qualified cities, counties and schools. However, questions about when the funds might be available and what spending requirements were attached to the money prevented state lawmakers from making allocations during this year’s budget process.

These questions prompted the House to streamline the state budget to prevent Texas from spending federal relief funds without legislature approval, and to require the Senate and House budgeting committees to hold public hearings before federal incentive dollars are spent.

However, when the Senate and House Legislators met behind closed doors to resolve differences between each House’s budget version, both requirements were ultimately removed from the bill.

Some lawmakers criticized the decision, including Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, who said in a tweet, “The disrespect shown will put us on a special session.”

More:Texas House rejects Medicaid expansion in dramatic vote on budget night

The legislature is constitutionally obliged to adopt a balanced budget during its regular meetings, which take place in odd years. The legislature has agreed on this year’s budget document, which is expected to be published next week.

But without including provisions requiring lawmakers to participate in the issuance of federal aid dollars, Howard said Abbott will continue to retain the power to spend federal money when lawmakers are not in session.

Texas received approximately $ 11 billion in federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) last March. That included $ 3 billion in direct aid to local governments and $ 8 billion to the state, all of which was spent or earmarked.

The money went towards coronavirus testing, staff for state health officials, and salaries for public health and safety workers used in the state’s COVID-19 measures.

More:Texas school districts are eagerly awaiting federal educational aid of $ 17.9 billion

Federal leadership

Earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury Department released guidance on how states and local governments can spend relief funds provided under the American Rescue Plan Act, signed by President Joe Biden in March.

States have flexibility in spending the relief funds to meet public health needs and the economic damage caused by the pandemic, including replacing lost revenue and providing hazard payments to essential workers.

However, the funds cannot be used to offset tax cuts, support public pensions, pay off debts, or add funds for rainy days. Some funds are earmarked for specific uses, including nearly $ 18 billion earmarked for schools in Texas in the last two federal aid packages. But it was Texas slowly releasing the money to schools, criticizing that more than $ 1 billion for schools was replaced in the first federal aid package to fill other gaps in the state budget.

In April Abbott and the heads of state announced that they would begin distributing them $ 11.2 billion Under pressure from the Texas Democrats and education advocates, the latest pandemic relief package was passed in March, which was passed in March.

But the state still didn’t allocate $ 5.5 billion to schools in Texas in the December round of state aid to coronavirus, and regulations to prevent heads of state from using that money to replace state education spending were in place during the Budget negotiations stripped. In April, the heads of state said they would look at how these funds would be used by the end of the session, but the questions remain for a few days.

More:Texas will release $ 11.2 billion to federal school pandemic funds

“These funds have yet to go to schools,” said Bob Popinski, policy director for Raise Your Hand Texas advocacy group. “We don’t know the methodology. We don’t know if they will replace any of these funds, so the school districts don’t know how to plan that money. “

There were also concerns about an amendment to the School Funding Rehabilitation Act, which requires school districts to put 40% of the last state aid in their reserves and not have to touch the money until the 2024-2025 school year unless they request a waiver from the state.

The federal government is requiring schools to spend these aid funds by September 2024, but schools can already move to replace the money and put some of it in their reserves. Education advocates fear that the law will deny districts the flexibility to use the funds when needed.

“Some school districts will want to spend this for the next two years, and then maybe they will have a hard stop on it,” said Popinski.

More:Colleges in central Texas, college students slated to split $ 250 million federally for the COVID-19 pandemic

Clancy: State lawmakers should not play politics with $three billion aid cash

NEW ORLEANS – If you had an old, leaking roof and Uncle Sam gave you $ 10,000, wouldn’t you spend that money on a new roof?

That is basically the question the legislature is facing. Only Louisiana receives more than $ 3 billion in COVID relief funds.

Our state’s infrastructure is among the worst in the nation. I’m talking about highways, bridges, drainage and other critical infrastructures.

Will our legislators spend the federal stimulus money where we need it most, or will they use it to make politics? The answer depends as much on you as it does on them. If you want better infrastructure, let your representatives and senators know. Otherwise there is no telling where the money will go.

► Get the latest news from your neighborhood straight to you by downloading the new FREE WWL TV News app now IOS App Store or Google play.

Inslee calls on lawmakers to allocate more cash for homeless disaster – KIRO 7 Information Seattle

OLYMPIA, Washington – Governor Jay Inslee urged lawmakers to allocate more money to address the homeless crisis.

Inslee pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has left more people homeless and that the federal US rescue plan package now includes new resources.

>> CONNECTION: Cleaning up a half mile homeless camp in Olympia

Without asking for a specific amount to be spent, the governor urged lawmakers to go beyond what they already budgeted to provide housing and clean public spaces for storage.

Inslee also stated that he hopes it will be closer to the hundreds of millions than it is to the tens of millions.

Inslee believes lawmakers will require local governments to play some kind of investment game.

Vermont Small Companies Will Should Wait Months for Aid Cash, Lawmakers Warn

click to enlarge

  • Tim Newcomb © ️ Seven Days

Members of Congress are putting the finishing touches on a $ 1.9 trillion aid package that could be finalized Tuesday in the US House of Representatives.

But Vermont lawmakers are already warning small business owners it could be midsummer before they see any cash relief. Legislators must decide how and through which programs to divide their expected $ 1.3 billion stake in the pot, a process that can take months, House spokeswoman Jill Krowinski (D-Burlington) warned during one virtual meeting of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce on Monday.

“This is the part that we really struggled with in the last session: the time it took [state lawmakers] to put the rules together, ”said Krowinski.

Last year, Vermont received a $ 1.25 billion share of the $ 2 trillion CARES bill passed by Congress in March 2020. It wasn’t until the beginning of July that the first corporate grants began to accept applications.

A similar scenario could also play out this time, said Krowinski.

“Even if the money is approved in April or May, we may not get it until later in the summer,” she said.

It’s not early enough for business owners who last applied for grants this fall, said Kim Donahue, co-owner of the Inn at Round Barn Farm in Waitsfield.

“That’s really not okay,” said Donahue, who heard the same time estimate on a phone call to other property owners on Monday morning. “We already have an enormous need.”

Many small business owners are pinning their hopes on an economic development package that is now going through the Vermont Senate that includes $ 10 million in grants for businesses that were ineligible for state or federal COVID-19 grants in the past year. The Senate Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs Committee was due to hear testimony on the bill on Tuesday.

Money for company “safety net” customs toward approval at Vermont House

Money for company “safety net” customs toward approval at Vermont House

By Anne Wallace Allen

From message

Once the federal COVID-19 law goes into effect, the U.S. Treasury Department will have 30 days to get the money to the states. Next, Governor Phil Scott would make recommendations to lawmakers, said Joan Goldstein, commissioner for the Department of Economic Development. The legislature would then have to set priorities and create grant programs.

Last year, the Commerce and Community Development Agency provided approximately $ 340 million to Vermont’s small businesses through such programs.

Goldstein said she was concerned about the hospitality businesses that have been closed or severely restricted for a year.

“We know that anyone whose business has anything to do with restaurants, lodging, gatherings, entertainment and transportation – all of these hurt,” she said. “Even if they got money beforehand, they’ll probably need more money before everything opens up. Property characteristics say they are 10 percent occupied. People just don’t come. ”

Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint (D-Windham) said lawmakers will try to do as much work in advance as possible to expedite the process. They may have to return to the virtual statehouse in August like last year.

“I don’t think that’s what anyone wants, but we might have to keep the budget open, maybe come back,” said Balint. “We just don’t know yet. it’s too early. ”

Even with the practice of creating the programs, Goldstein said, it will be months before lawmakers decide where and how to spend the money. Vermont’s annual budget is generally around $ 6 billion, and policymakers aren’t used to spending an extra billion on programs like education, childcare, and broadband.

“I don’t expect it to be weeks. It will take months, ”said Goldstein. “There will be hearings; there will be testimony. It is a lot of money.”