WASHINGTON – Legislation introduced by a Hawaiian lawmaker that would give hotel owners and operators new opportunities for grants and tax credits to help pay employees and rehire laid-off workers was backed by a president on Wednesday of the Senate Committee on Tourism.
Senator Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Who chairs the Senate Trade Subcommittee on Tourism, co-sponsored the Save Hotel Jobs Act filed by Senator Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii. The bill would provide federal assistance to hotels to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
âIn 2020, at the height of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, Nevada lost tens of thousands of jobs in the hospitality industry,â Rosen said in a statement.
Nationally, the industry lost 3.1 million jobs during the pandemic, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
âOur hospitality industry needs extra support to fully recover, and I am committed to getting Nevada hotel workers back to work,â Rosen said.
The bill would support hotel workers through direct subsidies to employers for payroll and benefits. It would also require employers who accept subsidies to give laid-off workers the first right to job vacancies. (The Nevada Legislature recently passed Senate Bill 386, which gives workers laid off during the pandemic the right to return to their old jobs, if they choose to do so. Gov. Steve Sisolak praised the of this bill in a speech to members of the union’s Culinary Workers Local 226 on Tuesday.)
The law would also provide tax credits to promote worker safety and help pay for safety equipment, cleaning supplies and protection for housekeeping workers.
Rosen said that, as tourism numbers rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, “this legislation will provide the resources to rehire large numbers of hotel workers safely and quickly.”
The legislation has been entrusted to the Senate finance committee. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Is a member of the panel that oversees tax legislation.