COVID-19 State Updates: March 25
Everything you and your business need to know about state coronavirus response efforts for March 25, 2020.
The Ohio Department of Health reported 564 confirmed cases of coronavirus – a 27 percent increase over Monday – and eight deaths as of Tuesday afternoon, with cases reaching 49 counties and resulting in 145 hospitalizations.
The entire shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) Ohio received from the Strategic National Stockpile has been distributed to counties based on the prioritization of need.
GCP is represented on what the state is calling the “COVID-19 Economic Strike Force” group. These leaders are geared towards providing policy solutions during the crisis around regulatory reform, tax reform, and direct financial assistance.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said Tuesday that businesses should interpret the state’s order as closing nonessential businesses themselves instead of overloading law enforcement and local health departments asking for guidance. Businesses should have a justification ready if they intend to stay open, Husted said. Husted did instruct employees who might see violations to report them to either local law enforcement or the health department.
Governor DeWine may tap the state’s rainy-day fund to fill in budget shortages. The Columbus Dispatch reported that forty-six percent of the general revenue fund is covered by sales taxes and 39% by income taxes. “With businesses such as dine-in restaurants closed and workers laid off, collections of both taxes are dwindling,” says the report.
The state legislature will meet today “to pass a number of coronavirus-related items. The Senate is slated to meet in the morning with the House to meet at 3:00 p.m. The Senate and House are believed to have similar priority lists. Here is a full list of items that may be found in the House Omnibus.
State Senator Matt Huffman introduced legislation to extend absent voting by mail for the March 17, 2020, primary election to April 28, 2020.
Statewide banks and credit unions are offering loan payment deferrals, fee waivers or refunds, and extending credit lines to both businesses and individuals. Many financial institutions are also suspending foreclosures where possible. If individuals need help, they should reach out to their local banker for assistance. Here is a link to a joint statement from the Ohio Credit Union League and the Ohio Bankers League.