Connecticut Lodging Association
Coronavirus Update 3/9/2021
$1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan for COVID Relief
Following a record 25-hour debate that went through the night, the U.S. Senate passed its amended version of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan for COVID relief along party line votes on Saturday, March 6.

There was, for about 24 hours, a threat to the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities funds from four amendments submitted by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)--but in the end, those amendments were not taken up on the Senate floor.

Here are the highlights of the Senate version of the bill: 
  • $135 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), $135 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), $200 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and $175 million added for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
  • $1.25 billion additional funds for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program with the new allowance that entities can apply for both PPP and SVOG for a net award. 
  • The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) covered period was extended a week to Labor Day from August 29 to September 6, but the federal PUA amount was reduced from $400 to $300 per week. In exchange for the lower benefit, the first $10,200 of unemployment insurance benefits will be non-taxable in 2021 for households with an adjusted gross income under $150,000. 
  • Federal direct economic stimulus checks will be $1,400 per taxpayer and $1,400 per child or adult dependent. However, the payments will completely phase out for taxpayers with more than $80,000 of your last filed adjusted gross income for singles, $120,000 for heads of household, and $160,000 for married couples.
  • The bill increased federal COBRA health insurance for laid off workers from 85% to 100% through September.
  • $350 billion for state and local government relief with excellent language clarifying eligible use of funds for assistance to small businesses, nonprofits, and hard-hit industries like tourism, travel, and hospitality. Funding can also be used for the expansion of broadband coverage to rural and inner-city areas. $10 billion is designated for local capital infrastructure projects.
  • $15 billion for additional Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funds, with loans prioritized for hardest hit businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
  • $7.25 billion additional funds for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
  • $25 billion for a new grant program for restaurants and bars to meet payroll and other expenses.
  • $1.25 billion for evidence-based summer enrichment, $1.25 billion for after school programs, and $3 billion for education technology.
  • $130 billion for most K-12 schools to safely reopen within 100 days.

What’s Next: Now that the Senate passed their version of the American Rescue Plan, it needs to go back to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote on the identical bill. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) quickly announced that, “On Tuesday, the House will consider the Senate's amended version of the American Rescue Plan, so that we can send this bill to President Biden for his signature.” Target date for enactment is before March 14, 2021.

Additionally: Late on Friday, March 5, the Small Business Administration (SBA) posted SVOGinformational documents to their website. Read more about these updated documents and requirements here
How Does the American Rescue Plan Help Hotels?

Join AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers and AHLA’s Government Affairs experts for exclusive insights on the American Rescue Plan, the ProACT and Safe Stay initiative updates. Learn more about how the hotel industry’s advocacy priorities are taking shape at both the national and state levels.
Topics include:
  • What is included in the American Rescue Plan? 
  • What updates are in the latest version of the Safe Stay Guidelines?
  • What is the status of the ProACT and how does it impact our industry?
  • How are the industry’s priorities evolving across the country on state and local levels?

Thursday, March 11
2pm EST
Paolino Public Affairs Consulting, Inc. Legislative Report - 03/05/21
The Connecticut state Senate met this week to take up bills that were passed in the House of Representatives last week. All three pieces of legislation were passed, and are now headed to Governor Ned Lamont's desk where he is expected to sign them into law. The committee process is reaching its crescendo as JF (joint favorable report) deadlines for most committees are coming into focus over the next three weeks. That signals an end to the major committee work and a shift to more regular action on the floor of the house and senate. As the committee process starts to wind down, session dates are going to become more frequent. There is not a set date yet for the next session, but we will let you know as soon as it is released. 
Most notably, Governor Lamont yesterday declared that his administration is going to begin dramatically easing the current COVID-19 restrictions in place. The process will start on March 19th. The rollback includes restaurants, retail stores, and houses of worship operating at full capacity. There is still a 11p.m. curfew on restaurants and bars must remain closed. He has also lifted the travel ban. The state recommends you to quarantine upon entering Connecticut, but it is not required. “Connecticut has earned it. You know, it’s been tough. People have been frustrated and they’ve been sheltered at home and a lot of our businesses really suffered and people took a hit,” Governor Lamont said. “I’ve felt that more than most. So I’ll tell you, it feels pretty good.”
STR: U.S. hotel results for week ending 27 February
HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee—U.S. weekly hotel occupancy dipped slightly from the previous week, according to STR‘s latest data through 27 February. 

21-27 February 2021 (percentage change from comparable week in 2020):

  • Occupancy: 47.5% (-25.8%)
  • Average daily rate (ADR): US$96.72 (-25.2%)
  • Revenue per available room (RevPAR): US$45.90 (-44.5%)

The week-over-week decrease was the country’s first since late January. Florida, California, and New York reported the largest drops in demand. Texas, on the other hand, led the nation in room nights sold as hotels continued to house residents displaced by winter storm damage. The state’s occupancy reached a pandemic high of 57.3%, up a full point from the week prior