LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles City Council is considering plans to pay Angelenos who test positive for COVID-19 to stay home.
A motion introduced Wednesday by Councilmember David Ryu would establish a $25 million “wage replacement program” for any Los Angeles resident – regardless of income, immigration status, or criminal record.
To be eligible, individuals would have to agree to self-isolate and provide public health information to Los Angeles County contact tracers, Ryu said.
The councilman’s proposal cited data showing communities of color, low-income communities and immigrants are more likely to become infected with COVID-19 and suffer from a higher mortality rate.
They are also more likely to work in essential jobs that cannot be done from
home and interface regularly with the public, according to Ryu.
“The only way out of this crisis is through increased testing and staying home if you’re sick,” Ryu said. “If we want to bend the curve, we need to make it possible for everyone to stay home when they’re sick – no matter their income or immigration status.”
Similarly, Council President Nury Martinez introduced a motion Wednesday asking for a report on a plan to provide up to $50 million in direct paycheck assistance to help low-income families with rent, food and other expenses.
Martinez says the “Right to Recover” motion aims to emulate a program that assists working-poor Latinos in San Francisco’s Mission District to pay them to stay home when they get infected with COVID-19.
“While Latinos are dying at twice the rate of White Angelenos in L.A. County from COVID-19, many of the safeguards meant to assist, including Federal Relief, are not reaching poor, immigrant Latinos and others, who often work as essential workers or simply do not have medical insurance or Paid Leave and cannot afford to stay home,” said Martinez.
Martinez’s motion recommends tapping the Federal CARES Act funding L.A. received to provide up to $50 million for her proposal.
The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
(CARES Act), signed into law by President Trump in March, excludes undocumented immigrants from receiving aid.