Contact Name: Sara Persechino
Phone: (603) 271-3479
CONCORD—Today, Senate Democrats announced a package of legislative reforms and initiatives to help New Hampshire respond to the coronavirus threat. The package comes after a joint Senate committee briefing was held with state agencies and public health organizations on Tuesday, March 10. The Senate Democrats’ coronavirus response package of reforms will be heard as an amendment to Senate Bill 507—introduced by Senator Dan Feltes, Senator Martha Fuller Clark, Representative Doug Ley, and Representative Mary Jane Wallner—on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
The preliminary package includes the following measures: unemployment insurance benefits for quarantined workers and small business owners; job protection for quarantined workers; required waiver of insurance cost-sharing requirements imposed for state employees needing coronavirus tests and treatment; and the requirement of Governor Sununu and the NH Department of Health and Human Services to apply for a 1115 waiver to cover testing and treatment costs for uninsured Granite Staters.
After the announcement, Senate President Donna Soucy (D-Manchester), Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes (D-Concord), and Senator Dr. Tom Sherman (D-Rye) issued the following statements:
“We want to thank our federal delegation for their work to secure at least $4.9 million for New Hampshire to deal with the coronavirus. We look forward to working with Governor Sununu and state agencies to ensure the wise and appropriate use of taxpayer money, including enhancing and advancing the coronavirus testing capacity here in New Hampshire,” said Senate President Donna Soucy (D-Manchester).
“There are concrete steps we can take in New Hampshire to curb the impact of coronavirus, protect our citizens, protect quarantined workers, and protect public health,” Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes (D-Concord) added. “We look forward to moving these commonsense measures through the Legislature to proactively prepare for the coronavirus’ effect on our workforce, our communities, and our state. We have asked the NH Department of Health and Human Services for any and all additional legislative changes they may need to help do their job.”
Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chair Dr. Tom Sherman (D-Rye) stated, “Public health and public safety are our top priorities as elected officials. That’s why we have put forward this comprehensive proposal to help minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission within our communities while providing essential financial support for working families impacted by the outbreak. The bill will be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday, March 17th.”