Holly’s Headlines Update from the House for District 80 – March 27, 2020

by Holly Brink

Continuing the Work

Hello friends,

It is certainly and interesting and intense time as we are all experiencing the effects of COVID-19. I want to assure you that I am continuing to do all I can within my role as your Representative and I have your best interest in mind! As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, comments, or concerns.

While the Legislature was not in session this week, things continued to evolve as state and national officials work to slow the spread of COVID-19. As legislators, we are continuing to work… answering emails from constituents, fielding phone calls from local officials, and keeping you all updated on what actions the state is taking to keep our families and communities safe and healthy.

Since the Legislature suspended its session, the Governor has exercised her emergency powers in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Iowa. Among these orders includes the closing of businesses where people tend to congregate, such as bars and restaurants, entertainment venues, and salons and barbershops, among others. Many state departments have also taken action to help Iowans such as pushing back tax deadlines, extending unemployment benefits to workers impacts by COVID, and providing child care resources for parents working in essential industries.

While the Governor has not ordered a “shelter in place” or “stay at home” order, Iowans are encouraged to remain home and self-quarantine. This and other common sense practices like washing your hands, covering your sneezes and coughs, etc., will significantly help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Governor is also holding regular press conferences to keep the public informed on the state’s response. These press conferences are held at 2:30 pm, Sunday-Friday. Many TV news stations broadcast the press conference live or you can watch on the Governor’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/IAGovernor.

This is a difficult time for many small businesses so we must all do our part to show them our support. While restaurants are prohibited from dine-in customers, several are offering curbside and to-go orders. Other small businesses, like salons and retail stores, are selling gift cards and certificates that can be used once the Governor’s order is lifted.

As Iowans, we know how important it is to take care of our own. Let’s make sure we are supporting all those around us!

Key Updates from the Week

Governor Announces Small Business Relief

This week, Governor Reynolds announced two rounds of assistance for small businesses who have been affected by COVID-19. They include:

Iowa Small Business Relief Grants – Grant awards ranging from $5,000-$25,000 for businesses with between 2-25 employees. Applications due on March 31.

Iowa Small Business Tax Deferral – The Iowa Department of Revenue is allowing sales/use and withholding tax deferral for businesses affected by COVID-19. Applications due on March 31.

Targeted Small Business Sole Operator Relief Fund – Grant awards ranging from $5,000-$10,000 for sole proprietorship or single member LLCs that are also certified as Targeted Small Businesses. The business must have been in existence for 12 months prior to April 10, 2020.

More information and full eligibility requirements can be found at IowaBusinessRecovery.com.

Early Voting Extended for June Primary

Secretary of State Paul Pate has extended the absentee voting window from 29 to 40 days for the Primary Election that is scheduled to be held on June 2. The Secretary of State’s Office is encouraging Iowans to vote by mail beginning April 23. Iowans can already request absentee ballots.

To download your absentee ballot request form, click here or visit the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

For more information on absentee voting and vote by mail, click here.

Eviction and Foreclosure Protections

Through emergency orders, the Governor has temporarily suspended evictions for renters and foreclosures of residential, commercial, and agricultural real property. Individuals must continue to pay rent, mortgages, and leases, but they are protected from losing their homes while the proclamation is in place. For renters, a tenant who doesn’t pay rent is still subject to penalties listed in their lease agreements, and landlords can still add late charges and other financial penalties.

Additional Closures and Restrictions as of March 26th
Governor Reynolds signed an additional proclamation on Thursday afternoon continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration. You can view the entire proclamation here.
These closures are in addition to those already put in place in previous proclamations.

Proclamation Closures: Effective until 11:59 p.m. on April 7, 2020

Restaurants and Bars

Fitness Centers

Swimming pools

Salons

Medical Spas

Barbershops

Tattoo Establishments

Tanning Facilities

Massage Therapy establishments

Theaters

Casinos and Gaming Facilities

Senior citizen Centers and Adult Daycare Facilities

Mass Gatherings: social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, sports etc. (more than 10 people prohibited)

Bookstores

Clothing stores

Shoe stores

Jewelry stores

Luggage stores

Cosmetic, beauty, or perfume stores

Florists

Furniture and home furnishing stores

*This closure order does not affect other retail establishments, such as discount stores, grocery stores, or pharmacies that sell these goods in addition to other essential food, medical supplies, and household goods.

For important guidance for Business and Organizations regarding COVID-19, please visit the Iowa Department of Public Health Website.

The Governor’s proclamation states that the specifically listed business groups/categories of establishments shall be closed until 11:59 pm on April 7, 2020. The proclamation does not prevent those businesses from offering curbside pickup, delivery, or online ordering options for customers. The physical business must remain closed to public entry. If a business can modify procedures to allow curbside pickup, delivery, or online ordering options, then they can continue to operate in that manner.

Businesses should take active steps to protect their employees and customers, including:

Conduct a daily health screening of any employees interacting with the public through delivery or curbside pickup. Use the screening tool here: https://idph.iowa.gov/Portals/1/userfiles/7/bscreening%20algorithm%2003222020.pdf
Opt for cashless payment options
Wash hands between every transaction whether curbside or home delivery
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on a regular basis

Posted by on Mar 27 2020. Filed under Local News, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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