Legislative Updates

The Chamber’s Policy & International Business Affairs teams compile a comprehensive legislative update on the latest regulations and government changes in response to COVID-19 each Thursday. Those updates will be posted here each week. This page will also be updated on an as-needed basis with critical information as it becomes available.

May 28 – Weekly Update

Memorial Day marked the unofficial start of summer. While domestic and international tourism to the region remains down, many San Diegans celebrated the warm weather and enjoyed new liberties granted by the County Health Department. While San Diego has developed a good reputation from the State authorities in Sacramento on its handling of the virus, some local businesses have failed to comply with standards set by the County. If you or your business have any questions regarding reopening guidance from the County, please reach out to a member of the policy team or your membership relations manager.


Today the House is scheduled to vote on bipartisan legislation to amend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The bill, called the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, would extend the time period, from 8 weeks to 24 weeks, that small businesses have to spend the money before it is converted from a grant to a loan. Additionally, the legislation would allow businesses to spend 40% of the funds on non-payroll costs, rather than the 25% originally permitted.


The City of Tijuana presented an Economic Recovery Plan that includes a three-month, interest-free grace period for businesses to pay their property taxes, renew business licenses and other permits, as well as a rapid business opening system enabling small and medium-sized businesses to open within 3 days. Starting June 1, the plan will follow the Mexican federal government’s guidelines to reopen social, economic, and educational activities in stages following a color-coded system that outlines which sectors and activities may resume operations and when.

Otay Mesa Port of Entry Expansion

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced the start of the Otay Mesa Land Port of Entry Expansion Project. The Chamber’s advocacy efforts urged funding for these needed improvements to reduce inefficiencies costing both countries over $7.2 billion annually. The $137.2 million modernization and expansion project includes the expansion of northbound commercial truck inspection areas, increasing the pedestrian inspection facility from six to twelve lanes, and the construction of visitor parking and employee parking structures.

Last year, the Otay Mesa Port of Entry processed over $18 billion in exports and $34 billion in imports in fiscal year 2019. The expansion of California’s busiest commercial truck border crossing will help facilitate trade and commerce in our region. The Chamber’s advocacy efforts urged funding for these needed improvements to reduce inefficiencies in commercial traffic costing both countries a combined $7.2 billion in lost economic output every year.

The project is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2021. Additional information on the Otay Mesa LPOE Expansion Project is available here.

United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

Starting July 1, 2020, the USMCA Free Trade Agreement goes into effect. If your goods qualify for the USMCA, then they may be exempt from Canadian and Mexican duties.  Register now for this two-part webinar series taking place on June 1 and June 3 to learn what changes the USMCA FTA has for your company, how to qualify your goods, and how to properly declare them. For questions or further information, please contact brian.beams@trade.gov.


Earlier this week, the California Department of Public Health announced that counties statewide can reopen places of worship for religious services and retail stores for in-store shopping. Additionally, hair salons and barbershops are allowed to reopen in many counties across the state. New restrictions apply to these industries, including maintaining social distancing when possible. Houses of worship must operate at 25% capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees. Barbershops and salons are permitted to cut and color hair, but shaving, eyebrow waxing, and other facial procedures are not yet permitted. Nail salons remain closed.

The State must pass a balanced budget by June 15. Earlier this week, the Senate Budget Committee released its version of the FY21 budget. The Senate version of the budget includes two major proposals related to economic recovery: a tenant rent forgiveness program and a $25 billion economic recovery fund to be spent over two years. The Senate rejected many of the Governor’s proposed cuts to health care and education, including $8.1 billion cuts to K-12, childcare, and community college funding. The Senate’s version of the budget assumes that the funds expected from the Federal Government are allocated to the state and creates a trigger to cut certain programs in the case that the funds do not materialize.


After receiving guidance from the State, on Tuesday, the County announced reopening guidance for hair salons and barbershops, one-on-one sport instruction, and places of worship. Prior to reopening, businesses must complete the County’s Safe Reopening Plan. The County also updated its Public Health Order, requiring businesses to temperature check and conduct health screenings of employees.

The County and Rady Children’s Hospital announced a partnership to provide daily COVID-19 testing for up to 2,000 children and their families throughout the region for the next six months. Additional testing sites in rural areas of the County open next week and appointments can be made by contacting 2-1-1.

The County Board of Supervisors will meet next week on Tuesday, June 2 (agenda here) and Wednesday, June 3 (agenda here). Due to the Governor’s Executive Order, in-person attendance is prohibited. Information on how to participate in the teleconference, view online, or submit comments can be found here.

Tomorrow, the City Council is holding a Special Meeting at 10 a.m. to review the draft purchase and sale agreement of the Mission Valley stadium site to SDSU. The hearing agenda can be found here.


May 21 – Weekly Update

On Tuesday, the County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to move into an accelerated Stage 2 of California’s Resilience Roadmap. Late last night, the County received approval from the State’s Department of Public Health to move further into Stage 2, allowing dine-in options in restaurants and in-store retail. Businesses must follow social distancing protocols and complete the County’s Safe Reopening Plan. Safe Reopening Plan guidance can be found on the County’s website here for restaurants and here for retail stores.

The County is transitioning its daily COVID-19 briefings to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. However, this afternoon there is a press briefing at 2:30 p.m. in light of the Stage 2 reopening news.

Memorial Day Weekend looks a lot different than years past. Ceremonies honoring our nation’s service men and women who lost their lives during military service will be held virtually. We wish you a safe Memorial Day Weekend!

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


May 14 – Weekly Update

This week Speaker Pelosi unveiled the HEROES Act, which includes beefed-up stimulus payments of up to $6,000 per family, $1 trillion to local governments to pay for essential front-line workers, $75 billion for increased testing and tracing, and $10 billion for economic injury disaster loans dedicated to businesses, among other things. The Mexican federal government announced a phased reopening plan. And, locally, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Supervisor Greg Cox joined together to urge Governor Newsom to allow more flexibility for localities trying to open.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


May 7 – Weekly Update 

If the global health pandemic, economic crisis, and soaring local unemployment weren’t giving you night sweats yet, the heatwave and red tide stench might have done the trick. However, there may be some light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel. Governmental leaders are all looking at a phased reopening, creating an important window for businesses to provide feedback for suggested ways to make that reopening stable, safe, and successful.

UCSD made a major announcement regarding testing as part of its plan to bring students back for the Fall, demonstrating capacity and ability to test which will be critical to larger strategies of reopening.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.

April 30 – Weekly Update 

This week felt like a rollercoaster ride. Beaches across the county were reopened on Monday, just in time for surfers to view the bioluminescent “red tide”.  Last night it was reported that Governor Newson would order all beaches and state parks throughout California close by Friday. Then this afternoon, during his daily press conference, the Governor applauded the great work of our local San Diego leaders and announced that only beaches in Orange County would close. Additionally, SANDAG published a startling report that, as of April 23, one in four San Diegans are unemployed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. At 24.7%, the county’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average due to the region’s vast tourism industry, now at a standstill.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.

April 23 – Weekly Update 

As you’ve likely heard, the Chamber is pleased to represent you in a working group convened by Mayor Faulconer and Supervisor Cox to address immediate needs in the business community. Additionally, we are working on a parallel effort with our partners at EDC and the Tourism Authority to think about a long-term framework for economic success, which we’ve titled “Back in Business.” To make sure our work is reflective of the needs of your business and your industry, please fill out this survey and let us know how best to guide these policy discussions.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.

April 16 – Weekly Update 

This week marks California’s sixth week in a State of Emergency and our fourth week sheltering in place. While we all are starting to adjust to this new normal, the Chamber continues to recognize the unprecedented nature of these times. We are beginning to look forward and understand how we can best ensure the San Diego region’s resiliency and recovery over the coming weeks, months, and years. That understanding is being driven by discussions in our committees that revolve around how best to safely, swiftly and sustainably move forward.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.

April 9 – Weekly Update 

Click here to read this week’s complete update including CARES Act package info as well as local, state, and international updates.

April 3 

Update from the County of San Diego Public Health Officer regarding the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for the San Diego region. Attached is Addendum 1 to the Order of the Health Officer, effective April 3, 2020 as of 12:00 a.m. Addendum 1 adds the following requirements to the existing Order of the Health Officer:

Click here to read the complete Health Order.

April 2 – Weekly Update

Click here to read the complete update, including available capital resources for small businesses.

March 26 – Weekly Update

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March 25

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March 20

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March 19 – Weekly Update

Click here to read this week’s complete update.