On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., introduced the “Save Hotel Jobs Act.”
The congressman’s office insisted the bill would help save jobs in the hospitality industry, stressing the damage the pandemic has caused that sector.
“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 3 million hospitality jobs have been lost during the pandemic and unemployment is nearly 20 percent within the hotel industry. Despite congressional assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, an additional 1.3 million hotel jobs could be lost this year, underscoring the need for further, targeted assistance to the industry,” Crist’s office noted. “The Save Hotel Jobs Act would provide support to hotels and the millions of hard-working hotel employees whose jobs were suddenly eliminated or remain in jeopardy as a result of the pandemic. The legislation would also avert the permanent closure of hotels so that Florida’s lodging industry is open and ready to take guests once travel returns to pre-pandemic levels.”
Crist’s bill would offer grants to hotel owners to help pay workers and cover their benefits while also creating tax credits for increasing hotel safety. The bill also expands recall rights for employees laid off due to the pandemic and protects the hours of housekeeping staff.
On Tuesday, Crist tried to make the case for why his bill was needed.
“These unprecedented times call for unprecedented support,” said Crist who is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis next year. “Hotels and hotel employees across the country, and especially in Florida, are still reeling from the pandemic. I’m proud to introduce legislation, supported by both our unions and our hotels to help this critical Florida industry get back on its feet.”
UNITE HERE and the American Hotel and Lodging Association are backing Crist’s proposal.
Crist’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Financial Services and the Ways and Means Committees on Tuesday. So far, there are no co-sponsors in the House and no companion measure in the U.S. Senate.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.