Bipartisan deal means more business aid

A new Senate plan would redirect a portion of federal COVID-19 aid from the state and counties to small businesses impacted by public health orders during the pandemic.

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April 7, 2021 - 9:18 AM

TOPEKA — A new Senate plan would redirect a portion of federal COVID-19 aid from the state and counties to small businesses impacted by public health orders during the pandemic.

The bipartisan compromise between Sen. Mark Steffen, a Hutchinson Republican, and Sen. Tom Holland, a Baldwin City Democrat, emerged during a committee hearing Tuesday. The conceptual deal is still being drafted with hopes of advancing formal legislation before the Legislature adjourns at the end of the week.

The Steffen-Holland plan would be inserted into Senate Bill 149, one of several pieces of legislation that were crafted to punish counties for imposing shutdowns, social distancing or mask mandates on businesses. Other ideas have called for a portion of federal aid to be set aside to settle class-action lawsuits from businesses.

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