Tuesday, March 17
March 17, 2020
School updates: Alongside teachers who are trying to ease students around the tension of this new type of learning, counselors and librarians are trying to help students adjust to online learning by offering their own office hours as well. Additionally, Ms. Tormala and student government sent out a Google form allowing students to ask general questions should one arise.
World updates: The Senate is currently drafting bipartisan legislation in coordination with the White House to address the spiraling economic ramifications of COVID-19. President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have proposed a roughly $1 trillion stimulus package to provide large-scale consumer and industry relief (Washington Post). The sweeping package would build upon a $100 billion spending bill passed by the House, which mandates employers with 50 to 500 employees provide 10 days paid sick leave to their employees, while also increasing funding for federal unemployment insurance and free COVID-19 testing (The Hill).
The additional $850 billion in stimulus spending will likely be directed towards providing broader relief to Americans impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly those with children and those with service industry jobs. Mnuchin and Trump have proposed $50 billion in airline industry relief, an attempt to ease tensions in a flagging, volatile stock market. Most significantly, the White House and several Senate Republicans, including Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) have signaled support for immediate $1,000 cash distributions to many Americans. While it’s unclear how many Americans will actually receive the payments, with Sen. Cotton suggesting that imperiled wage workers are the primary intended recipients, the bipartisan support for a temporary form of Universal Basic Income (UBI) represents a surprising development for Capitol Hill, where many members of Congress have been previously wary of the policy.