On Thursday, March 18th, I joined with my colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate to pass a bill that would grant five days of emergency paid sick leave to every worker in the Commonwealth who is unable to safely return to work due to COVID-19. This legislation serves to protect frontline workers at greater risk of infection and ensures that everyone has the tools to self-quarantine without the threat of economic hardship.

The bill also included significant advancements in the areas of governmental stability and relief for the unemployed and small businesses. Small business relief is advanced in the form of a delay of scheduled unemployment rate increases which were set to occur in 2021 and 2022 as well as exempting what would normally income received from forgiven PPP loans from Massachusetts corporate excise tax. Following the guidance of the recent federal American Rescue Plan Act, the bill also excludes up to $10,200 of income received from unemployment benefits from taxation for individuals making less than 200% of the federal poverty line.

Finally, the bill extends the Commonwealth’s tax filing deadline from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, in conformance with the extension made at the federal level.