D.C. Council members have passed emergency legislation that aims to support people who have lost their jobs and small businesses that are suffering financial losses from the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill, which needs Mayor Muriel Bowser's signature to take effect, allows for affected workers to access unemployment insurance with no waiting period and no requirement to be actively searching for work.
It also creates a grant and loan program for small businesses, extends tax payment due dates for some small business and allows restaurants switching to carry out or delivery to serve closed-container wine, beer and spirits along with food.
Benefits for residents under assistance programs, including TANF, SNAP, and the DC Health Care Alliance, would also be protected and extended.
In addition, the bill makes price gouging and stockpiling illegal, prohibits utilities from cutting off electricity, water, gas services and stops evictions during the public health emergency.