Member News

Lawmakers Send COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Bills to Study

State House News – Massachusetts businesses are in line to save on workers’ compensation insurance over the next year while efforts in the Legislature to expand the ability of workers to tap into those benefits for COVID-19 care appear to have hit a dead end. Workers’ compensation coverage for COVID-19 in Massachusetts is limited to…

Massachusetts Extends Administrative Tax Relief for Local Businesses

Mass Insider- Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Robert DeLeo announced an extension of administrative tax relief measures for local businesses that have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sectors. This includes the extension of the deferral of regular sales…

Health Insurance Premiums to Rise 8 Percent Next Year

Commonwealth Magazine – Health Insurance premiums for Massachusetts residents will rise by an average of 7.9 percent at the beginning of next year, despite insurers having profited from declining health care costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kevin Beagan, deputy commissioner for the health market at the state Division of Insurance, said the higher premiums reflect several…

Agencies Scramble to Offer School-Day Child Care

Commonwealth Magazine –  Thousands of Massachusetts students are starting school remotely this fall. Many of their parents are working. Where will those kids go during the day? The question is one that myriad social-service and child-care organizations are scrambling to address with an unusual amount of collaboration, amid conditions that result in logistical nightmares. Organizations –-many of…

Budget Chief Sees $5 Billion State Revenue Shortfall

State House News –  Despite signs that the state’s finances have not completely cratered during the pandemic, the Senate’s top budget official said he anticipates tax collections in fiscal 2021 to be down $5 billion from last year, and said lawmakers will need to dip “deeply” into the state’s $3.5 billion “rainy day” fund unless new…

Many Massachusetts Employers Say ‘No Thanks’ to Trump Payroll-Tax Plan

Boston Business Journal – President Donald Trump gave the green light last month for employers to allow workers to defer paying their portion of payroll taxes from Sept. 1 through the end of the year. His goal is to help goose the economy, with Congress unable to come together to pass another stimulus bill. But so…

Baker: Flu Shot Push Based on Health-Care Feedback

State House News – Gov. Charlie Baker’s got a flu shot at a Roslindale CVS last week and pressed Massachusetts residents to get vaccinated against the flu this fall, which he said will be critical to prevent overburdening the state’s health care system with the flu and COVID-19, which share many symptoms. Baker has mandated that students…

Vaccine Developers Feel Impact of Being in the Spotlight

State House News – With pharmaceutical companies racing to find a COVID-19 vaccine and the world closely watching their progress, scientific experts stressed last week that the clinical trial process must play out in full before a safe immunization can reach the public. News about the latest vaccine and treatment developments is “front and center every…

Can an Employer Require a COVID Vaccine?

Wall Street Journal – It may be the better part of a year before a Covid-19 vaccine is available to the general U.S. public, but businesses are already wondering whether they can or should require their workforce to be vaccinated, say employment lawyers. Few companies outside the health-care industry require their staff to be vaccinated against the flu…

CDC Reverses Course on Testing Asymptomatic People

Politico – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says that close contacts of people with COVID-19 should be tested, regardless of whether they have symptoms — reversing controversial recommendations it made last month, reportedly over the advice of agency scientists. CDC’s testing guidelines now bluntly counsel people who have been within six feet of…
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