Baton Rouge, LA (July 29, 2020) – As both houses of Congress begin negotiations on a new COVID-19 relief package, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) remains engaged with the state's congressional delegation, ensuring the voice of Louisiana's business community is heard on Capitol Hill. Just as it did during Louisiana's back-to-back legislative sessions, LABI urged immediate action to help our job creators by providing liability relief and emergency assistance with Louisiana's unemployment compensation trust fund.
LABI President and CEO Stephen Waguespack sent a letter to both U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-Baton Rouge) and U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-Madisonville) last week expressing support for the COVID-19 liability protections included in legislation introduced by Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
"Businesses cannot make definitive plans for reopening and rebuilding without some certainty that they will not be subject to frivolous lawsuits from opportunistic trial lawyers," Waguespack wrote. "As they struggle to rebuild in this shattered economy, the last thing business owners need to worry about is predatory litigation."
To read the entire letter, click HERE.
LABI has also voiced support for The Get America Back to Work Act of 2020, a bipartisan bill authored by Rep. Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge), to provide federal liability protections to medical professionals, essential businesses and individuals who have worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to help communities fight the virus.
To read comments from Waguespack and more information about the bill from Congressman Graves' office, click HERE.
LABI also wrote another letter last week to the entire Louisiana delegation, urging them to address the looming insolvency of the state's unemployment compensation trust fund. While the Legislature took steps in the regular session to help mitigate the tax implications of the massive increase in claims, the fund, like those in many other states, will likely need federal assistance to remain solvent.
"The precipitous and unprecedented decline in what was among the healthiest of such funds in the nation – exceeding $1 billion before the unemployment brought on due to the COVID-19 pandemic and official responses to contain it – is staggering, even when considered alongside the unemployment wrought by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the unemployment arising from the oil bust in the 1980s," Waguespack wrote.
To read the full letter, click HERE.
"Since the beginning of this pandemic, our entire congressional delegation has been working tirelessly to ensure that meaningful legislation is passed to help Louisiana's working families and job creators as they try to survive in this economy," Waguespack said. "They've been great partners to our state's business community and we look forward to continuing to work with them on solutions that get companies back on their feet and get our citizens back to work."
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About the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry was organized in 1975 to represent Louisiana businesses, serving as both the state chamber of commerce and state manufacturers association. LABI’s primary goal is to foster a climate for economic growth by championing the principles of the free enterprise system and representing the general interest of the business community through active involvement in the political, legislative, judicial and regulatory processes. Find out more information at www.labi.org.