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COVID-19 Update (via VTA)

This is often a rallying cry for members in our industry and the larger vaper community to act to defend vaping in the statehouses or in the nation’s capital. As our federal and state governments are responding aggressively to the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone of us must ACT NOW to exercise all precautions to ensure that we slow the further spread of the virus. Please encourage everyone you know – old and young – to ACT NOW by heeding the recommendations of our federal and state leaders. We are in a critical period where the actions of everyone can and will have an impact on the spread of the virus. The only question is whether our actions will mitigate or accelerate the spread of the virus. Do your part! Additional details on how to protect yourself and your families, and what to do if you are sick, can be found on the CDC’s coronavirus page.

VTA personnel are working remotely. As state legislatures are shutting down and moving to “must pass” only bills, we anticipate the need for travel to be mitigated substantially if not completely. To that end, we are remaining fully engaged and are offering to meet with public officials via our video conferencing platform or teleconferencing. While there are a number of free video conferencing platforms, we want you to remain engaged and connected, so if any of our member groups need to use our video webinar capabilities to stay connected with your membership, please send your request to info@vaportechnology.org.

H.R. 6201 - the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Yesterday, the Senate passed (90-8-2) and President Trump signed H.R. 6201 – the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a supplemental appropriations package first passed by the House (360-4-1-27), in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The bill provides paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expands food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requires employers to provide additional protections for health care workers. The bill also provides FY2020 supplemental appropriations for critical food assistance programs and nutrition programs. Read more details on the new law here.

Economic Relief Package. Yesterday, the Trump Administration also proposed another plan, billed at about $1 trillion, to further stem the tide of an economic downtown. The Treasury Department put out this summary of the Administration’s “Stage 3 Proposal” that would provide direct payments to individuals ($500 billion), loans to small businesses to avoid mass layoffs ($300 billion), and assistance to large businesses such as airlines ($50 billion) and other severely distressed sectors ($150 billion). The Administration and Congress are already negotiating on the contours of this relief package.

Working with our team in D.C. we will keep you apprised of developments on this package. Also, if and when it is passed, we will provide you information on how small businesses can avail themselves of the relief provided.

Be safe. Be smart. As we have always said, we are all in this together.

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