Legislative Update – June 24 - SD Regional Chamber

Legislative Update – June 24

Save the date for July 22! Our Summer Splash and Small Business Awards will be held at SeaWorld (in person!) It’s not too late to submit award applications and nominations, the deadline has been extended to June 30.

Business News

TOOTRiS has partnered with the San Diego Regional Center to provide child care services to their employees. Thanks to the TOOTRiS online platform, SDRC’s staff of over 600 will now have access to thousands of child care providers and subsidy programs in the region.

Software startup ClickUp is moving to East Village! Having recently skyrocketed to a $1 billion valuation, the company will occupy two floors on the DiamondView building and currently employs 300 people, with expansion toward 400 staffers currently underway. ClickUp is known for its productivity and collaboration software, a space that saw a boost with the rise of remote work last year.

SDGE created a new grant program to support diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in local schools. $250,000 will be used to match donations for anti-racism learning materials and projects throughout the region.

Legislative Update


Federal:
 

Earlier today, the CDC approved to extend the nationwide eviction moratorium from June 30 to July 31, 2021.

President Biden has announced that those asylum seekers who were denied under the previous administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy will be given another shot.

A CDC panel has determined it necessary to add a warning about the rare risk of heart inflammation to fact sheets for the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines. For context, over 150 million people have received the vaccine, and there are 1,200 investigations of possible inflammation.

The infrastructure bill update: we’ve got our shopping list done, but there’s some trouble brewing about the pay-for (who woulda guessed that would be the issue). The 21 member bipartisan group is struggling as Republicans think the President isn’t committed to getting a bipartisan deal.

OPRA II, Representative Scott Peters’ bill focused on reducing ocean pollution and increasing the San Diego region’s fresh water supply, has recently passed through the House! The bill also will simplify the City of San Diego’s permitting process for the operation of the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plan.

Border Patrol Chief, Rodney Scott, announced his resignation yesterday. He says he made the decision following receiving federal notice that he was to “relocate, resign, or retire from his position,” which is typical so the new administration may appoint someone of their choosing to lead.

The Supreme Court ruled this week that the structure of the Federal Housing Finance Agency was unconstitutional, and opened up a door for the removal of its leader (and Trump appointee), Mark Calabria to be ousted. This sets the stage for the future of FHFA and a likely set of additional political battles.

International:

Temporary restrictions on non-essential travel across shared ports of entry between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico were extended for an additional thirty days to July 21. We continue to urge the administration to lift restrictions which continue to negatively impact local businesses.

The distribution of 1.35 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine amongst individuals aged 18-39 in border communities in Mexico began last week and will continue for the next 10 days. The Mexican federal government reported that 16 vaccination centers with 306 substations were installed across Baja, aiming for it to become the first completely immunized state.

Big news for the border region! Vice President Kamala Harris will visit the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday joined by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The trip to El Paso comes a few weeks after their visit to Mexico City and the announcement of a shared agenda to foster US-Mexico cooperation. An agreement was also made on economic development and trade-related issues, with both governments participating in a High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) in September to address economic priorities such as strengthening and modernizing cross-border management.

President Lopez Obrador will also visit the border this weekend. The tour will start off this Friday in Mexicali where a review of the fiscal stimuli for the Northern Border will take place, followed by the inauguration of the National Guard facilities in Tecate, and  a visit to the militarized high school in Tijuana.

Baja governess elect Marina del Pilar announced a strategic plan for her first 100 days in office. The plan outlines her commitment to promote and strengthen economic development, health, public safety, and education (among others), and calls for stakeholder collaboration to overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic. As part of her action items to support the business community, the plan includes efforts to revitalize the bilateral relationship and a series of stimulus packages to facilitate economic reactivation, recovery, and boost innovation and entrepreneurship.

The North American Development Bank announced a proposal to include new eligible project types that would 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 strongly encourage you to submit your comments to help expand the work of the NADBank in our region.

In news from our neighbors at the northern border, the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles and Chamber member MAPLE will host the “Build Back Better Together” forum on June 29. The webinar will provide an overview of the US-Canada economic relationship and explore new possibilities in the post-pandemic era. Register here to join this discussion.

State:

California’s housing construction has been on the rise lately! Throughout the first four months in 2021, the amount of new housing units approved has increased 25% year-over-year. March and April have especially seen growth, with over 10,000 permits having been issued each month. While these numbers are optimistic, the rate at which new housing units are being built is yet to have recovered to rates seen in previous years.

Already lost your vaccination card? California now offers residents a digital record of their vaccination.

Within the state’s annual placeholder budget, millions have been allocated toward public projects in San Diego including $30 million towards new construction for UC San Diego’s Hillcrest medical center, $3.6 million towards the Logan Heights Library, and $3.6 million to the Old Town State Historic Park. Further targets of funding include gun violence restraining order training, an initiative by the Public Defender’s Office to review and modify excessive criminal sentences, and support for UC San Diego’s cliff erosion research. The final budget is expected to be passed by July 1.

Local:


The median San Diego home price has now hit $725k, a rate of increase which hasn’t been seen since 2013. This past year has seen a rate of increase of 23%, a figure attributed to low mortgage rates, high buyer competition, and the heightened viability of remote work.

The San Diego Water Authority has announced that the region will be protected from the impacts of drought this summer and through 2045, even as hot and dry conditions are expected to continue.

New DSD Updates Alert! The City of San Diego’s Development Services Department (DSD) have released an operations update which include ending requirements for COVID-19 Construction Site Safety Protocols, a new virtual service for no-plan building permit applications, and upcoming webinars on how to use their updated building and engineering permitting system launching on July 19.

The City of San Diego has designated July 2nd as Sara Steinhoffer Day in recognition of her service to Sharp Healthcare and the community at large – including the Chamber! We appreciate Sara for her years of community involvement!

A recent review of cities identified San Diego as one of the most hospitable cities for remote work.

The City wants you to stop throwing away the bags of spinach you bought while you thought you were healthy. As a result of a recent state law, the City is providing green recycling bins and kitchen pails to help you begin your composting journey.

The San Diego City Council voted to support a resolution to support AB 915, a bill that helps even the playing field for our diverse network of small businesses that want to do work with the state. The Chamber is also proud to endorse the bill, which is currently in the Senate.

$$$ County District 4 small businesses and nonprofits: An additional $6.6 million in funding is now available for businesses and nonprofits with 20 or fewer FTEs. Apply here.

Upcoming Hearings

  • San Diego City Council will meet on June 29.
  • City of San Diego Planning Commission held a meeting today (June 24) and will next meet on July 15.
  • 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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