Legislature Passes $7 Billion Worker & Employer Benefit Package

BOSTON – Friday, State Senator Nick Collins and State Representative David Biele joined colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature in passing an important Unemployment Insurance bill, which will provide assistance to Commonwealth employers and employees.

The bill authorizes $7 billion to stabilize the unemployment insurance system, establishes a paid sick leave program for COVID-19 emergencies, and reduces the size of premium increases employers contribute to fund the jobless benefits system. The bill also exempts PPP loans from state income taxes and creates tax credits for low-income families.

“This important legislation will greatly benefit small businesses and their employees in the First Suffolk District and across the City and State,” said State Senator Nick Collins “As we prepare for an equitable economic recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is critical that we continue to support employees, small businesses, and residents.”

“This bill will provide crucial relief and support to small businesses and workers negatively impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19,” said Rep. Biele. “I’m thankful to my colleagues in the Legislature for this important step and look forward to the work ahead to support our economy, our businesses and our workforce.”

Senator Collins and Rep. Biele are also pushing for another piece of legislation that aims to provide essential workers with crucial protections and benefits. SD.1686 / HD.1794, An Act Relative to providing a COVID-19 retirement credit to essential public workers would provide public essential workers who were required to work in-person during the COVID-19 pandemics with a 3-year retirement credit.

“Essential workers have put their lives and bodies on the line to guide the Commonwealth through the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Senator Nick Collins “This retirement credit would offer a meaningful compensation for the service of these courageous women and men.”

“Across the Commonwealth, essential workers reported to work every day during the COVID-19 pandemic, putting their health and lives at risk to support our state and our communities,” said Rep. Biele. “This proposal recognizes their outstanding efforts in providing front-line and emergency support service during these unprecedented times.”