Legislative Update – August 12

Because it’s so fantastically late, you may have forgotten that today was the release of the 2020 Census Data that will set into motion the redistricting of congressional seats. Remember, in April it was announced that California was losing a seat, and nobody (not even you, Twitteriffic readers) know who will lose this round of musical chairs. Buckle up!

On an entirely different note, we’ve got another round of FREE N95 mask giveaways happening now. Remember, Cal/OSHA guidance still stands that as an employer you must provide N95 masks to any unvaccinated staff who request them…. So, save yourself the hassle of trying to procure them on your own and get them here.

And a big shout out to our newsletter sponsor, PCM!

Business News

$$$ The City of San Diego has launched the Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Fund with the San Diego Foundation. The application will be open from August 11 until September 24. Businesses and nonprofits in the City of San Diego operating prior to April 1, 2020, net profits under $150,000 or gross revenue under $250,000 are eligible to apply. The funding is not first come first serve, and all applications will be reviewed after September 24. Learn more here.

Bills, bills, bills: SDGE will give $70 in bill credits to customers in August and September as part of the California Climate Credit program. The program auctions carbon pollution permits to industries with large greenhouse gas  emissions, and customers get a share of the revenue.

Kudos to the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, San Diego’s newest outdoor venue, for a successful, inaugural performance last Friday! We may be biased but San Diego has the best music venue in the nation, just ask the New York Times who compared it to the Hollywood Bowl.

Legislative Updates


On Tuesday, the Senate voted 69-30 to approve the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, with 19 Republicans joining in support. In the House, it’s got a bumpy road ahead with Speaker Pelosi already saying that they will not bring the bill to a vote unless the bigger ($3.5 trillion) bill with social supports and policies is also passed out of the Senate.

In a memo released Monday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced all members of the military will be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine by September 15.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen provided remarks on the state of the US economy. TLDR; things are going well, in fact we are trending toward full employment. Yes, Delta is throwing a bit of a wrench in the operation of our crystal balls, but we think we should keep doing big things via big policy. Some examples: big investment in childcare, and big focus on lowering healthcare costs.

Space force might get to be in charge of UFO’s, and they don’t love it. Surprisingly (at least, to us), it’s not because they are scared of aliens (uh, what?), but they think it could damage their credibility.

If you’re still not sold on getting vaccinated (please, we want you to be healthy and keep reading our newsletters, so please get vaccinated), the ADA is now considering making “Long COVID” a disability. Because it is no joke.

On a related note, the CDC is encouraging pregnant ladies to get vaccinated, and the FDA is going to approve a booster-vaccine shot for immunocompromised people, and WHO will be testing three new drugs for COVID treatment. In short, hug a scientist.

Vroom, vroom, but make it quiet: President Biden is going all in on his push for half of all cars sold to be electric by the year 2030. One challenge he’s got here (among a few) is going to be supply chain issues and electric vehicle infrastructure.

Sixty-six percent of respondents to a Fannie Mae survey say it’s a bad time to buy a house. To which we say, “oh you don’t have a spare million bucks hanging around?” But, for those renters who envy-scroll Zillow every night, some good news: on time rent payments will now be factored into mortgage underwriting.

Curious about export regulations with regard to COVID vaccines? Of course you are. Here’s a nifty article on how export controls have aided governments trying to ensure vaccine supply for their populations.

CMS is proposing to do away (officially) with the Most Favored Nation rule from former President Trump. In short, the rule wanted to test paying only what other developed nations pay for certain drugs, but was met with concern based on the pace of the proposal and the objectives. In rescinding it, CMS says they are going to continue to evaluate proposals to address drug pricing…. But this one ain’t it.

The Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) for Veterans Therapy Act is on President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The bill allows the VA to provide service dogs to veterans with mental health conditions.


2021 would like to remind you that you should most definitely not count your chickens. The Marburg virus has been detected in Guinea, and as a result, 155 people have been ordered to quarantine.

It’s official, Canada just reopened its southern border to fully vaccinated U.S. travelers. After almost a year and a half of non-essential travel restrictions at our land ports of entry, the U.S. is the only North American country that continues to enforce restrictions until at least August 21. The Chamber continues to urge the administration to lift restrictions that hurt our businesses and border community.

Mexico’s President Lopez Obrador announced that following a phone call with Vice President Harris,  the U.S. has confirmed the donation of 8.5 million COVID-19 vaccines to Mexico. Additionally, a high-level meeting will take place in the following weeks to discuss lifting non-essential travel restrictions impacting our land ports of entry.

The EPA held a public meeting to share an analysis of infrastructure projects to address transboundary pollution impacting our region. Out of 12 projects, 3 alternatives comprising a combination of projects are moving forward based on their reduction of transboundary flows and days with impaired water quality in South Bay. An overview of the projects and analysis is available here, but the EPA noted that Alternative I was most efficient in also considering growth scenarios, but it does require the most funding.

In other water news, Baja Governor Bonilla is moving forward with the transition of the States Public Utilities Commissions (CESPT, in Tijuana) to each municipality. A special commission was created to lead the transition, composed by several state agencies including  Baja’s Water Protection and Sanitation Agency (SEPROA).

The Chamber’s Mexico City Summit will take place August 31 through September 1st. This year’s summit provides an opportunity for participants to meet with key federal officials and diverse business industry leaders to discuss regional priorities such as border infrastructure, transboundary pollution impacting the Tijuana River Valley, and cross-border commerce.

Our partners at the Border Trade Alliance and the Wilson Center hosted the Seventh Annual Building a Competitive U.S.- Mexico Border Conference in which policymakers, business leaders, and local elected officials met for a dialogue that focused on improving border management to strengthen the competitiveness of both countries. Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar shared his efforts to advance H.R. 3028 introduced earlier this year. The bill would create the Land Port of Entry Modernization Trust Fund within the U.S. Treasury for investments in land ports of entry to build new ones and expand and improve existing infrastructure.


Late last week, California issued an order that all healthcare workers get vaccinated by September 30 and has also issued requirements for visitors in acute health care and long term care settings to be vaccinated or to provide a negative test.

Governor Newsom announced on Wednesday that the state will require teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or participate in weekly COVID-19 testing.

The sportfishing industry is raising the alarm about a proposed CARB rule’s potentially devastating impact. In a video recently released, CARB staff acknowledge that it’s unlikely wood and fiberglass boats (the boats used locally) would be able to comply with the reg and would be removed from service, confirming local business’ fears that they are facing an impossible hurdle.

The California Energy Commission adopted the 2022 Building Energy Code which focuses on four key areas that will affect newly constructed homes and businesses: encouraging electric heat pump technology; establishing electric heating, cooking, and EV charging; expanding solar PV system and battery storage standards; and strengthening ventilation standards. It now goes to the California Building Standards Commission in December for approval.


Today, Mayor Todd Gloria signed two pieces of legislation that will bring $293 million infrastructure funding to San Diego. Investments include $97.7 million to public safety, $59.4 million to mobility and transportation, and  $49.6 million to stormwater.

The City of San Diego’s Downtown Development Services Center will be suspending walk-in services without a scheduled appointment until further notice.  Customers visiting the building must wear a mask and maintain social distancing indoors. And, a friendly reminder that the Department will be closed tomorrow, August 13.

Draft land development code (LDC) language is now available for public review for the City of San Diego’s Homes For All Of Us initiative. The Planning Department will hold a public workshop on August 16th to get feedback. If you have any comments or questions, please email Angeli Calinog. More information on the LDC update can be found here.

SANDAG is officially partnering with Cisco to advance digital equity in our region. Cisco will be providing pro-bono consulting to identify barriers to broadband expansion with stakeholders including the Digital Divide Taskforce. These efforts will be crucial to the drafting of SANDAG’s Regional Digital Equity Strategy and Action Plan.

UCSD is putting up some impressive numbers with a recent study showing that they detected 85% of COVID outbreaks early through their wastewater testing program. A possible bright spot where innovation, robots, and gross water all come together to keep a lid on COVID.

The County Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk (ARCC) Office will be holding a Vital Records Day on August 14th at three locations. No appointment needed to get a copy of your birth, death, or marriage certificates.

Upcoming Hearings

  • The County Board of Supervisors will meet on August 17 & August 18.
  • The City of San Diego Planning Commission will meet on August 19.
  • The San Diego City Council will be in summer recess until September 13.

Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit available to businesses that want to locate in California or stay and grow in California. Businesses of any industry, size or location are eligible to apply. Applications will be accepted from July 26, 2021 – August 16, 2021 for the first period.
  • The CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund provides assistance for eligible expenses to businesses in the City of San Diego and City of Chula Vista impacted by the pandemic.
  • The California Rebuilding Fund is offering small businesses with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees loans up to $100,000. Learn more and apply here.
  • The County’s Small Business Stimulus Grant Program is accepting additional applications. Eligible businesses must have fewer than 100 full-time employees and are following sectors (restaurant, gym fitness center, yoga studio, movie theater, museum, zoo, or aquarium) that were impacted by moving from the Red to Purple Tier OR part of the event industry. Learn more and apply here.
  • City of San Diego Temporary Outdoor Business Operations Permit – Businesses (restaurants, retail stores, gyms, hair salons, nail salons) can now expand into the public right-of-way, parking lots, and public spaces. Information on how to apply for a Temporary Outdoor Business Operations Permit can be found here.
  • Businesses can reach out to their nearest Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which has developed the Small Business Survival Resources Guide to help business owners navigate through the chaos COVID-19 is having on our communities. SBDC can help with applying for 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.
  • The State Treasurer’s Office has published this list of Federal, State, Local, Private, and Non-profit resources available to small businesses.