January 5 – Weekly Update

This newsletter serves to remind you that it is, indeed, Thursday. We think?

Happy new year. We missed you. Our new years resolution is to not lose the umbrellas we bought this morning.

 

Business Updates:

Sharp Grossmont Hospital has completed their Central Energy Plant, which was financed through Proposition G – passed by voters in 2006. Powered by a 52-ton turbine built by Chamber member Solar Turbines, the CEP allows the hospital to cut costs and significantly reduce their environmental impact.

 

Legislative Updates

Federal: 

You have to wonder if there’s something Rep. McCarthy knows that everyone else does not. But alas, he is voluntarily heading into his tenth (? Who knows. We have to keep rewriting this) round of speaker votes. Rep. Santos remains silent but maybe glad for the lack of attention.

The FTC is proposing the end of noncompete clauses. President Biden has indicated early support, and for you readers, in California they are generally considered to be unenforceable.

The Department of Energy is sounding alarm bells about the solar industry supply chain- generally pointing to China and Southeast Asia. Related, but should be in a different bucket: the LAO has sounded off on the state’s climate goals, specifically its very, very ambitious 2022 scoping plan. Much like industry groups, the LAO points to lack of specifics and regulatory guidance to meet the goals, and sets the stage for a deeper dive at the state level into whether or not this plan, you know…. Works.

The US Military will be providing 12 weeks of parental leave, upping from 6 weeks for the primary caregiver and a measly three for the secondary caregiver.

 

International:

Big news for our binational region – CBP announced the reopening of PedWest at the San Ysidro Port of Entry starting Monday, January 9, from 6am to 2pm. San Ysidro processes up to 25,000 pedestrians every day, which makes this second pedestrian port of entry vital for our efforts to enhance and facilitate border crossings in our region. PedWest suspended operations in March of 2020 and has remained closed for over one year after travel restrictions at land ports of entry were lifted.

Anybody traveling to Europe after the holidays? Croatia officially joined the Eurozone, so bye bye kunas! You can now spend your euros when visiting the country where Game of Thrones was filmed.

Presidents Biden, Lopez Obrador, and PM Justin Trudeau will convene in Mexico City for the 2023 North American Leaders’ Summit next week. The so-called “three Amigos” summit will meet to discuss efforts to tackle migration challenges and implementing Inflation Reduction Act provisions which extend some benefits to our USMCA partners.

Biden will also take his first trip to the border since taking office. This visit will follow the announcement of a new humanitarian “parole” program for migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Canada set an immigration record last year granting over 437,000 foreign-born individuals with permanent residency status. This is a huge win as the country fights a tight labor market, with Ottawa planning targeted draws to help connect the business sector across the nation with the skilled workforce they need to thrive.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will host a public meeting to discuss the Advanced Clean Fleets regulation proposal following the Board hearing held back in October. Click here to register and hear details on the infrastructure delay provision and the transition to  zero emission vehicles.

 

State:

A new legislative cycle (and new faces) brings new committee assignments. Ready, aim, lobby.

New Year, New Insurance Protections: 11 new state laws ranging from addressing climate change protection against fraud, to preserving health protections have taken effect.

The Department of Cannabis Control has received approval from the Office of Administrative Law for its rulemaking action regarding large cultivation licenses and conversion to large and medium cultivation licenses. Regulatory provisions subject to this rulemaking are effective on January 1, 2023.

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and five commercial managed care plans (MCPs) have agreed on a plan on who and how they will deliver Medi-Cal services to 21 counties across the state in January 2024. MCPs will soon operate under new contracts that focus on a coordinated approach to providing quality, equitable, and comprehensive coverage. This represents a practically violent reversal of their earlier decision.

 

Local:

The City of San Diego is currently conducting a parking study in the Convoy District, aiming to make the neighborhood more pedestrian and bike friendly. Businesses and customers can share their feedback through a quick online survey by January 15.

The Election may be over, but there’s still vacant seats in various cities throughout the region. In Chula Vista, the application period is open to fill the District 3 Councilmember seat (formerly represented  by newly elected Senator Steve Padilla) and a special election will be set for City Attorney. The City of Escondido is also taking applications for the District 3 Council Seat. Next week, the Carlsbad City Council will determine whether to appoint or hold a special election for the District 2 seat.

City of San Diego’s Development Services Department Updates

  • DSD’s factory-built housing (FBH) subcommittee consisting of designers and contractors, working alongside DSD staff, have developed submittal, review, and inspection guidelines. Check out the updated information bulletin here.
  • Beginning January 1, certain projects deemed complete after December 31, 2022 will now require contractors and subcontractors verification to comply with the Transparency Ordinance that was passed by City Council earlier this year. A webinar on January 6 will be held for customers. Learn more about whether your project requires contractor and subcontractor verification here.

 

Upcoming Hearings & Public Input Opportunities

  • The San Diego City Council will meet on January 9 and January 10.
  • Mayor Todd Gloria will hold his 2023 State of the City Address on January 11.
  • The County Board of Supervisors Swearing-In Ceremony will be on January 9.
  • The County Board of Supervisors will meet on on January 10 and January 11.
  • The SANDAG Board will not meet until January 13.
  • The County of San Diego will be holding public outreach events in each supervisorial district in January on the progress of their proposed local climate solutions, which includes projects like the regional decarbonization framework. Event details can be found here.

 

Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • The CPUC launched the Digital Divide Grant Program! Applications will be accepted until January 13, 2023 and must be submitted via Email.  Four grants of up to $250,000 each are available!
  • San Diego County’s Small Business Stimulus Grant funds are still available for local small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the pandemic. County Districts 1, 2, and 3 are still accepting applications. Learn more here.
  • Small business owners may currently receive $2,000 per employee that participates in the paid family leave program. Small business owners can apply here.
  • Businesses can reach out to their nearest Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which has developed the Small Business Survival Resources Guide. SBDC can help with applying for COVID-19 relief, guiding you through available resources, and assisting with cash flow concerns, supply-chain interruptions, workforce capacity, insurance coverage, and more–all at no cost!

 

Future Chamber Meetings (Virtual) & Committee Actions:

Chamber Summit 

We will be welcoming business groups, chambers, and business improvement districts from across the region to share best practices and learn about pressing policy priorities in our region on January 16 from 2:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.

Health Committee: 

Our next meeting will be January 11, 8:00am via zoom.

Transportation & Land Development Committee: 

Our next meeting will be January 17, 8:00am via zoom.

Economic Development Strategy Working Group: 

Our next meeting will be on January 19, 9:00am via zoom.

Sustainability & Industry Committee:

Our next meeting will be February 2, 8:00am via zoom. We’re dark in January!