COVID-19 State Updates: March 26
Everything you and your business need to know about state coronavirus response efforts for March 26, 2020.
The latest update on coronavirus from the Ohio Department of Health shows 704 confirmed cases and 10 deaths, with 182 hospitalizations and 75 intensive care unit admissions.
According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), the state reported more than 187,000 claims for unemployment compensation in the week ended Saturday, March 21, compared to just more than 7,000 the week earlier. For comparison, ODJFS notes that weekly total exceeds many of the highest monthly totals of the early 1980s recession.
The Ohio House and Ohio Senate both cancelled sessions on the calendar for Thursday, March 26 after passing emergency legislation yesterday to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. A summary of the state legislation can be found here. GCP is especially appreciative of the work of Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, Senate President Larry Obhof, Speaker of the House Larry Householder, Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, and House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes for expanding eligibility for unemployment compensation and aligning the state tax filing deadline to the delayed federal deadline.
On unemployment, the state measure codifies the following:
Waives first week waiting period
Changes eligibility to include COVID-19 related unemployment situations
Waives work search requirement
On the tax filing, it aligns Ohio with the federal governmental:
Moving the tax filing deadline from April 15th to July 15th
Extends date for estimated payments
Waives interest payments (penalties already able to be waived)
Not withstands the “20-day rule” under municipal income tax for employees working from home during the health emergency plus 30 days
Extends due date of the state-administered municipal net profit tax
According to Cleveland.com, Speaker Larry Householder told reporters a re-appropriations bill likely will wait until June, and a capital budget bill is unlikely to be coming any time soon, given the uncertain circumstances. He said the legislature likely will address those issues, as well as a possible stimulus for the state economy, sometime down the road. He had this to say about the capital budget though: “I would caution everybody on taking on new debt right now. The things we’re on right now, 180 days from now, it’s all going to look different.”
According to Hannah News Service, Senate President Obhof said, "I think it's a very difficult time for everybody, and there's no point in sugar-coating that.” The Senate President praised the Governor's balancing of economic and medical priorities. Senate President Obhof said the quickest way back to business as usual is to "be sure first and foremost that everybody is safe."
Lt. Gov. Husted has recommended businesses create their own documentation with rationale for staying open and what measures they are taking to implement safe workplace practices and social distancing protocols.It is GCP’s recommendation that you review the recent ODH order and FAQs with your legal counsel and/or go to coronavirus.ohio.gov for additional information
The Ohio Treasurer unveiled a program to help hospitals save, gain liquidity during COVID-19.
According to the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association, Ohio hotels are preparing to serve as emergency shelters if needed during the COVID-19 crisis.