Coronavirus relief legislation signed into law


President Trump Signs Presidential Memorandum/Tia Dufour/Flickr/Public Domain

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed a coronavirus relief package that has received broad bipartisan support over the past week.

President Donald Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law, which includes provisions for free testing for COVID-19 and paid emergency leave.

The Bill was first introduced last week by U.S. Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY-17). After some negotiation between Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the house, and the Trump Administration, Trump announced his full support for the Bill on Friday. This helped the legislation pass the House on Saturday with bipartisan support, 363-40. The Senate submitted a set of changes to the law on Monday, before approving it in its revised form today.

The legislation in its current form gives many workers up to two weeks of paid sick leave if they are being tested, diagnosed, or treated for COVID-19. It also makes provisions for workers who have been medically advised to stay at home due to symptoms or exposure.

Workers will receive up to $511 a day at most during their time off. In the original House Bill, workers would have received their full pay, and employers would have been reimbursed for this amount, but during negotiations with the Trump Administration, the cap was placed. Families of the workers can also receive up to two-thirds of their pay, although that is also capped at $200 a day.

The Bill also includes work requirement waivers for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), increases Medicaid assistance, and requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to set temporary standards for disease exposure control to protect health care workers.