Legislative Update – June 17

Cal/OSHA has just voted to adopt revisions to the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) which guide how employers manage worksites with regard to their workers’ safety. In short, for anyone who is wondering who decides what employees are masked, and when and how and what happens on Tuesdays if it’s raining, that would be Cal/OSHA. Usually, these revisions take ten days to go into effect, but Governor Newsom has signed an executive order putting it in place immediately.

Here’s the short version*: the ETS now says that vaccinated employees do not need to wear a mask in the workplace. Unvaccinated employees, however, do. How do you know who is vaccinated? Employers need to verify, and can do so by seeing vaccination cards, making a copy of cards, or simply accepting self-attestation.

*for the long version, check out our Return to Work guidance.

Thanks for pretending like you’re working today and not watching golf. We see you!

Business News

New opportunity alert! USD’s Ahlers Center has unveiled its new Move Forward program and is accepting applications through June 29th (tick, tock y’all). This program is for businesses/organizations looking for some research/economic analysis/supply chain/data muscle to boost their efforts and take them to the next step. More info and application here.

The ugly side of online reviews is one that businesses are all too familiar with. A new piece by MIT Technology Review covers how businesses that are making any indication of vaccine preference are getting slammed by anti-vaxxers.

Canadian budget carrier Swoop, a newcomer to the San Diego Airport, has announced that they will be adding nonstop service from Edmonton, Alberta to San Diego! The flights will operate from October 31 until the following April. Starting at twice a week, the flights will be increased to three times a week in late December. Though you may not have been itching for a trip to Edmonton, if you look it up you might find some cool reasons to go! Turns out it’s a pretty big city.

Bishop Ventures and Murfey Company’s Secoya project, a 100-unit development in Bankers Hill, is the first to use the City of San Diego’s Complete Communities Housing Solutions incentive program.

Legislative Update


Federal:
 

New number, who dis? If you hate robocalls, the FCC has issued “best practices” to stop them. So, that’s nice.

Whoa. A study recently released by the NIH says that COVID-19 was in at least five states in December of 2019.

A bipartisan group of ten Republican and ten Democrat Senators has introduced an infrastructure deal. And their reward was a swift thrashing from their friends on the far right and far left. A very unofficial survey of congressional staffers said that hill staff expect a deal, but not much else. However, if that crystal ball is wrong and there is no bipartisan deal to be had, Democrats are making the moves necessary to go it alone. As of yesterday, eleven Republicans now support the framework, which would give the bill enough votes to pass the Senate.  And because writing a newsletter is a punishable act, news is breaking this morning that the Dems are in fact pursuing their own bill.

The child tax credit that passed as part of ARPA now has a handy website if you’re wondering how to access and/or learn about eligibility.

Saturday is Juneteenth, and Congress plans to make Juneteenth National Independence Day a federal holiday. Congress passed the measure through both houses this week and will be signed by President Biden today, making it the 12th legal national holiday and the first new holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

International:

President Biden is on his first overseas trip since taking office. He first travelled to the UK to attend the G7 Leaders’ Summit, followed by the NATO Summit and U.S.-European Union Summit in Brussels.

Former Secretary of the Interior and Colorado Senator Ken Salazar has been officially nominated to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Did you know that our neighbors south of the border continue to be the top U.S. trading partner?

The U.S. donation of 1.35 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrived in Mexico this week. Vaccines will be distributed amongst individuals aged 18-39 in border communities to help lift travel restrictions impacting the U.S.-Mexico land ports of entry.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited Mexico City this week to meet with Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard. Their discussion  focused on identifying strategies to facilitate trade and travel, including measures to gradually lift non-essential travel restrictions impacting our shared land ports of entry.

Local Congress members Juan Vargas, Darrell Issa, Sara Jacobs, Scott Peters, and Mike Levin were in Tijuana last week to discuss cross-border priorities such as transboundary pollution impacting the Tijuana River Valley and migration.

Great news! The U.S. and Mexican governments recently doubled the North American Development Bank’s capital, specifically intended for infrastructure in the border region. In addition, the Bank announced a proposal to include new eligible project types that will enhance urban sustainability, quality of life, climate change resiliency, and support the border region in its transition to a green economy. The Chamber was proud to submit a letter of support and we encourage you to submit your comments to help expand the work of the NADBank in our region.

Calling all import-export businesses and innovators: the Mexican Ministry of Economy extends an invitation to participate on LAB4+ taking place July 21-23. This e-business matchmaking event seeks to connect local import-export companies and investment funds with potential partners from the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru). The event is free and registration is available here until tomorrow June 18th.

State:

Due to high temperatures forecasted across the state today, Cal-ISO has issued a voluntary statewide flex alert from 5:00pm-10:00pm.

Last Friday, Governor Newsom signed an executive order ending the stay at home order, capacity and distancing restrictions for businesses, and mask requirements for fully vaccinated people. The statewide declaration of emergency remains in place, so Newsom can still change or suspend state laws until he or the legislature ends the emergency declaration.

Green on green: as part of the legislature’s budget, $100 million has been allocated to the legal cannabis industry.

New CDPH guidance is giving businesses discretion to determine who and who isn’t vaccinated. Effective Tuesday, in settings where masks are only required for unvaccinated individuals, businesses can choose to:

  • Provide information to guests about vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated people to self attest they are in compliance before entering
  • Implement vaccine verification
  • Require all guests/patrons to wear masks

Cal/OSHA has also released their FAQs in advance of the meeting that we mention at the top.

State election officials have determined that recall candidates have to share their tax returns.

Local:

In line with the state’s reopening, the County of San Diego has updated its public health order, and will transition to Beyond the Blueprint for Industries and Business Sectors.

Compared to the first quarter of 2020, San Diego’s homebuilding increased 22% in the first quarter of this year but it’s still far from the new housing needed in our region.

Oh dang! Mayor Gloria announced today that they would be reissuing the RFP for the Sports Arena in the midway area. As a result of CA’s Surplus Lands Act/the opinion of HCD the previous RFP is insufficient. He’ll be before Council next month to restart the process.

Earlier this week, the San Diego City Council passed Mayor Gloria’s $4.6 billion budget for FY 2022, which includes the following for businesses: $10 million in nonprofit and small business loans, a concierge team to support small businesses, $750,000 for the small business enhancement program, $900,000 in discretionary grants, and a $1 million investment in Connect2Careers workforce development program.

#DigitalDSD Reminder: Take advantage of DSD’s upcoming webinars for customers where you can learn more about their online permitting upgrades that will launch in July.

SDMAC is requesting nominations for their 14th annual Awards Dinner to recognize individuals and organizations making vital contributions to the San Diego military or civilian community.  Nominations are due June 30 to ceo@sdmac.org.

The Port of San Diego’s Big Bay Boom is back this year! Mark your calendars for July 4 at 9:00pm for California’s largest fireworks show.

Upcoming Hearings

  • San Diego City Council will meet on June 22.
  • City of San Diego Planning Commission will meet on June 24.
  • SANDAG Board of Directors will meet on June 25.
  • County Board of Supervisors will meet on June 29 for budget deliberations and adoption.
  • County of San Diego Planning Commission will meet on July 9.

Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • 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.
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