From the office of Rep. Karl Gillespie

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From the office of Rep. Karl Gillespie

I. We officially gaveled in on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Opening day consisted primarily of the swearing-in ceremony and the adoption of session rules.

II. The legislature reconvened on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. Committee assignments were announced and I was appointed to the following committees:

-Agriculture

-Appropriations

-Appropriations, Education

-Federal Relations and American Indian Affairs

-Wildlife Resources

 

III. On Feb. 4, 2021 the legislature passed SB36, 2020 COVID Relief Bill Modifications. The legislation made various adjustments in light of additional federal legislation and guidance.

Senate Bill 36 does the following:

– About $1.6 billion to help schools reopen and ensure students, teachers, and staff can safely return to in-person learning

-Approximately $95 million to health care providers, local health departments and hospitals for coronavirus vaccinations

-More than $546 million in emergency rental assistance. An additional $155 million in rental assistance will go to local governments with more than 200,000 residents

-The bill provides parents of school-aged children additional time to apply for $335 state grants to help pay for online learning expenses and provides $30 million to expand broadband in rural areas

-The legislature also passed HB4, Extend ABC Permit Renewal Fee Deferral.

-The bill retroactively extends the deferral of ABC permit fees for businesses prohibited from operating under the Governor’s Executive Order until 90 days after all executive orders limiting those permittees’ full operation are rescinded or expire. The bill would also allow certain ABC permittees whose operation is limited by executive orders to request a refund of any permit fees paid for the 2020-2021 permit year, and direct the ABC Commission to reinstate or reactivate any permits that the Commission cancelled or moved to inactive status

Important to note: SB36 is the first COVID related assistance package of the new year. I expect us to take up additional pandemic-related legislation in the coming weeks.

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