Focus on Collins as Senate makes paid sick days a sticking point in coronavirus response


On Saturday, the U.S. House approved an emergency package providing free testing for the COVID-19 virus, enhanced unemployment benefits, and two weeks of paid sick days for just some of the workers who have none. Now, pressure has shifted to the GOP-controlled Senate and Senator Susan Collins to answer the House’s proposal with a robust response.

“Mainers are justifiably worried about the health and economic impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic,” Garrett Martin, executive director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy, said in a statement. “Emergency relief from Congress should prioritize direct and immediate assistance to families and ensure workers are empowered to practice social distancing and stay home while sick — without losing their livelihoods.”

Click here to read the full story, first published March 17, 2020, in Beacon.