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DC Council Passed legislation to stop utility shut offs.

March 23, 2020 Uncategorized

The D.C. Council passed emergency legislation Tuesday that prohibits evictions and public utility shut-offs during the public health emergency, extends unemployment compensation and offers grants to small businesses. 

 Under the measure, introduced by Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D), those who lose work hours, their jobs or pay while quarantined because of the coronavirus are allowed to receive unemployment benefits without proving they are applying for other jobs or the usual waiting period. 

 People asked to quarantine will have job protections under the city’s family and medical leave law, even if they haven’t reached the one year or 1,000 work hours requirement. The measure also gives Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) the power to establish a small business grant program to help nonprofits and small contractors if they can’t qualify for unemployment insurance. 

 Businesses will be able to defer paying February and March city sales tax collections until July and hotels also get a 90-day extension for property taxes. Both moves amount to a short-term, no-interest loan of up to $266 million, Mendelson said. 

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