Tuesday Actions: Emergency Coronavirus Legislation Stuck in Senate

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6 mins read

****Actions 3/17/2020****

FEDERAL

Tell the Senate to Support Emergency Paid Sick Leave
The coronavirus emergency bill is still waiting for a hearing in the Senate, and so far Thom Tillis, at least, still has not confirmed that he will vote for the House bill that was supported by even a majority of House Republicans. The bill passed by the House would immediately guarantee workers 14 days of paid sick leave in the event of a public health emergency like the current one. Workers would separately accrue up to seven sick days over the course of a year under the bill. This solution is far more effective than Trump’s promise to temporarily repeal the payroll tax, which would have the long-term impact of defunding Social Security.

Democrats are also calling for free coronavirus tests, protections for healthcare workers, more Medicaid funding, enhanced unemployment insurance, and increased food security initiatives. So far, Republicans have refused to agree to any of these. Meanwhile, they dumped $1.5 trillion–yes trillion–into the market ostensibly to stabilize it. Pressure worked at least a little today. McConnell was originally going to let the Senate go into a planned recess this weekend, but your calls (and thousands of others across the country) pressured him into staying and hopefully negotiating with Pelosi. These issues are urgent, and the Senate needs to take care of business immediately.

Details:
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/senate-gop-blocks-emergency-paid-sick-leave-legislation-from-moving-forward_n_5e691016c5b68d61645ebff9

Script:
Hello, I am a constituent from zip code ___________ calling to urge Sen. ______________ to support legislation that would guarantee workers 14 days of paid sick leave in the event of a public health emergency like the current one we are facing with the Coronavirus. We also need free coronavirus tests, protections for healthcare workers, more Medicaid funding, enhanced unemployment insurance, and increased food security initiatives, including expanding  SNAP benefits. Stop messing around and work to ensure that your constituents will have the money and resources that will enable them to weather this massive crisis. Thank you.

Federal Contact Numbers:
Thom Tillis: DC: (202) 224-6342
Richard Burr DC: (202) 224-3154
Tim Scott (SC): Washington, DC: 202-224-6121
Lindsey Graham (SC): Washington, DC: 202-224-5972


STATE

Protect North Carolina from the Coronavirus
Calling for a full closure of all restaurants can’t be an easy thing to do. It will leave thousands of workers unemployed, and many restaurants are small businesses, and a closure, even for a short time can be tremendously costly. But we are now in the danger zone. Exponential spread means that one person in a restaurant could give COVID19 to many others, and in turn those people could affect more people. We have to do the right thing and close all restaurants and bars. It’s time to push the Governor, via Twitter or by phone, and demand that he make this move.

Sample tweet:
Hi, @NC_Governor, It’s time to close restaurants, bars, and other social gathering spots.  Please act to protect North Carolinians. Even small gatherings can enable the coronavirus to spread quickly.

You can modify this for a call script or email. Here is the Governor’s info:
Governor: Phone: (919) 814-2000
Email: https://governor.nc.gov/contact/contact-governor-cooper


Advocate for Protecting Voting Rights
[Modified from Aylett Colston] With the intensification of the coronavirus, we need to advocate to increase the availability and ease of vote-by-mail.  North Carolina has “no excuse” absentee voting, BUT the rules around it are cumbersome, especially with the new rules that prevent community groups and advocates from helping turn in ballots.  We may need to think creatively about this. Right now, the NCSBOE is amending rules to add disease outbreak to the definition of “emergency” which grants the Executive Director emergency powers. This is good news, but it’s still crucial to make sure our voting rights are protected. When just one voter is disenfranchised, we all lose.

Contact your state reps (email is better right now since they are out of session) and write a short message asking them to take steps to ensure that voters will be able to participate in the 2020 election in the event of any kind of emergency.

Sample email:
Hello, Rep./Sen. ____________, I am writing to encourage you to work with the NC State Board of Elections to make sure people’s voting rights are protected. Currently the NCSBOE is amending absentee ballot rules to add disease outbreak to the definition of “emergency,” which is good news. I would encourage you to work with the NCSBE to ensure that anyone who needs it will be able to access an absentee ballot, especially if we find ourselves in another emergency situation in November. Thank you.

State Contact Numbers:
NC House: http://bit.ly/2CVneDK
NC Senate: http://bit.ly/2DamgAn


Originally posted on Indivisible Daily Call to Action.
Re-posted with permission.


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