COVID-19 Emergency Act Passes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                                                                                   March 17, 2020
This afternoon, The Council of the District of Columba approved, “COVID-19 RESPONSE EMERGENCY AMENDMENT ACT OF 2020.” The Act provides several measures that assist residents, businesses, and organizations during this pandemic.
What the Emergency Act does:
  •  Extends employment protections under DC Family Medical Leave Act.
  •  Extends the March 31 real property tax for hotels to June 30, 2020 and allows other businesses to defer  February and March sales taxes to July 20, 2020.
  •  Creates small business grant program, including grants to non-profits and independent contractors (if they do not qualify for Unemployment Insurance).
  •  Allows for pick up or delivery of beer and wine (in a sealed container) to be consumed in the home from a restaurant if ordered with food.
  •  Extends time for filing of biennial corporate filing.
  •  Expands authorities for the Mayor under the Public Emergency Act.
  •  Provides DISB flexibility for health insurance and matters regulated by DISB.
  •  Extends public benefit programs such as Alliance, TANF, and SNAP.
  • Limits price gouging and stockpiling.
  • Prohibits utility companies from shutting off service.
  •  Prohibits eviction of residential and non-residential tenants.
  • Prohibits housing providers from charging a late fee during emergency.
  •  Allows for prescription drug refills before end of waiting period.
  •  Extends licenses and registration deadlines (DMV, professional licenses, etc.).
  •  Homeless Services Reform Act contingency provisions.
  •  Extends Tenant Opportunity to Purchase OPA deadline and prohibit landlords from charging late fees.
  •  Allows Department of Corrections discretion for awarding additional good time credits for those sentenced for misdemeanors, consistent with public safety.
  •  Provides DCPS Summer school calendar flexibility.
  •  Clarifies schools’ attendance reporting during emergency.
  •  Allows ANCs to meet less than 9 times per year and may do so remotely.
  •  Suspends meetings of other boards and commissions.
  •  Extends FOIA deadlines.
  •  Allows flexibility of the Open Meetings Act when remotely meeting.
  •  Extends Budget Submission Requirements to a May 6, 2020 deadline.
  •  Allows for Council to meet virtually.
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Gail Brevard
Commissioner 5C01