Legislative Update – June 3 - SD Regional Chamber

Legislative Update – June 3

The bears are back! Except this time, it’s not an unusual political publicity stunt. A 17 year old (human) out of Bradbury, CA has gone viral after literally pushing a black bear OFF A WALL to protect her dogs. There’s a metaphor here somewhere…

It’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month! Pride is celebrated in the month of June to commemorate the Stonewall riots, a critical moment in the gay liberation movement. The rainbow flag we all know was created in 1978 by artist and Army veteran Gilbert Baker: red for life, orange for healing, green for nature, blue for harmony and violet for spirit.

Thank you for attending our annual Congressional Conversation yesterday! For those of you who missed it, we had a great conversation covering the federal issues that bring San Diego together: investing in housing and infrastructure, the digital divide, cybersecurity, and our economic recovery.

Business News

If you’re waiting on results from the CalOSHA meeting (happening now!), it’s likely we’re a few hours away from knowing the fate of the Emergency Temporary Standards revisions. Stay tuned.

!!! Calling all restaurants and breweries! Register for our next webinar in our Small Business Series: Intellectual Property for Restaurants, held on June 16 at 9 am. We’ll hear from an expert from the US Patent and Trademark Office on how to protect your brand, and receive an update from the City of San Diego’s Planning Department. (Hint: Outdoor dining is here to stay)

Chamber members Cordoba Corporation is partnering with the Chicano Federation to provide project management services to modernize their affordable housing complex in the Golden Hill community.

The San Diego Building Industry Association announced its first woman CEO in 83 years! Lori Holt Pfeiler will be taking over for Borre Winckel in July, bringing years of experience in affordable housing and local government.

According to the Brewers Association, 346 breweries closed nationally in 2020 while 716 breweries opened. The San Diego beer industry is also growing with over 20 new brewery locations in the works. Read more about the newest locations in San Diego County here.

Shout out to Chamber member MAPLE Business Council on their 6th year anniversary. MAPLE’s work contributes to strengthening our region’s trade and investment relationship with Canada, and has connected businesses and entrepreneurs from San Diego and Baja with Canadian partners to leverage the new trilateral agreement. Grow MAPLE!

The Padres are teaming up with the County to help get those stragglers vaccinated. If you haven’t gotten your shot yet, check out how you can win some tickets while you get protected.

You’re invited! Join ENGIE for a webinar focused on orienting California school district administrators to the opportunities of school bus fleet electrification — covering all the major variables to consider and when it makes sense to move forward with a plan.

Legislative Update


Federal:
 

EEOC officially says you can provide incentives to get employees vaccinated, to which we say “better late than never, guys.” But if you want more about vaccination incentives, read here.

May employment numbers giving us yet another post-vaccine boost: a whopping 900,000+ jobs have been added, primarily in the service sector.

The Biden administration formally ended the Trump-era immigration policy that forced asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court. The “Remain in Mexico” policy returned nearly 70,000 asylum-seekers to Mexico from January 2019 until President Biden’s first day in office. In addition, DHS Secretary Mayorkas announced efforts to resolve asylum cases at the border within 300 days.

Yearly boosters may not be a thing for COVID, which is nice because apparently that next-day hangover was real for many of you. Promising indications are coming out so far, and leading scientists agree, that while protection via the original vaccine won’t be forever, it may be longer than we anticipated. High five!

The legal battle around the CDC eviction ban continues- this time notching a win for the CDC and a loss for realtors/landlords. The DC Circuit on Wednesday denied a request from the realtors to block the eviction moratorium via an appeal- meaning the ban remains.

President Biden met with Republican Senator Capito on his infrastructure deal. Of note, he’s proposed enforcing the minimum 15% corporate tax. They’ll meet again on Friday.

The US housing market is on fire… and it’s burning would-be buyers. Latest reports show that the market is four million, yes million, homes short to meet demand.

Feeling salty? Our congressional delegation was united in their support of reforming SALT. This article covers that, and some other good points from our Congressional Conversations event yesterday, which of course you didn’t miss.

International:

Mexico is holding its breath for the season finale of its biggest election in history! This Sunday, over 93 million voters will determine the make-up of the lower house of Congress and elect 15 governors, 30 state representatives, and nearly 1,900 municipal governments. Recent polls show nearly half of the state elections -including Baja California- are led by MORENA, the political party of President Lopez Obrador, and the rest by coalitions formed by the opposition composed by the PRI, PAN, and PRD political parties, among others.

European Union legislators agreed on a format for a Digital COVID Certificate that will be used across member states as a travel pass during the pandemic. Can’t wait? The certificate is now live in seven countries including Greece and Croatia – *checks for flights*.

VP Kamala Harris launched a call for action for businesses to make significant commitments to “help send a signal of hope” to the people of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. The White House issued a fact sheet with efforts to support inclusive economic development in the Northern Triangle.

More border leaders have joined calls to lift travel restrictions impacting land ports of entry across the U.S.-Mexico border. Senators and representatives from Texas and Arizona sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging them to commit to a timeframe to lift restrictions. A separate effort also called for the end of restrictions and urged the administration to work with border communities.

San Diego County, in partnership with UCSD Health and the Mexican Consulate in San Diego, launched a cross-border vaccination program last week in order to vaccinate Mexican workers at US-owned assembly plants in Tijuana. For more information, please send us an email to kzamarripa@sdchamber.org.

Canada is on its way to allow vaccine mixing for second doses, allowing individuals to follow up AstraZeneca shots with a second those of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

The Chamber’s upcoming International Business Affairs Forum will take place virtually on Thursday, June 17 at 10:00am. Register here to join experts and industry leaders who will share an overview of efforts to improve air quality in our region, cross-border collaboration, and the role the business sector plays in achieving this goal.

State:

The fate of many bills will soon be decided with tomorrow being the last day for bills to make it out of their house of origin. But two bills of concern, SB 260 (Wiener), and AB 1139 (Gonzalez) have failed.

Math -schmath. The Assembly and Senate have announced their budget agreement, which you can read here. If you like your budgets with some political hot-takes, this is the document for you.

The Governor’s May Revise proposed $7B to bridge broadband infrastructure gaps. The Legislative Analyst’s Office was not so sold on this proposal getting its sought after results.

Cal/OSHA has finally released their updated ETS language, which is being heard NOW and pending approval, will go into effect June 13. The revision misses many of updates employers have been asking for, but includes:

  • Employers must maintain physical distancing measures until at least July 31, instead of using the state’s reopening date of June 15.
  • Fully vaccinated employees who test positive for COVID will still need to be excluded from work for 10 days.
  • Employers will be required to purchase N95 masks for employees indoors or at outdoor mega events who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Employees will be required to wear masks indoors unless every person in a room is fully vaccinated.

The updated language did clarify that outbreaks will only be triggered by employees, not customers or other third parties.

On the anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre, the California Task Force to Study Reparations for African Americans met for the first time. The committee was created by AB 3121, authored by former San Diego Assemblymember Shirley Weber, and includes San Diego Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe.

The UCLA Anderson quarterly forecast projects a “euphoric” economic recovery in California, predicting the largest economic boom since WWII. The loss of tourism and hospitality jobs are expected to return quickly, given California’s low COVID rate and statewide reopening on June 15. The report estimates that IT, business services and professional services jobs will increase by over 4%, and that the state unemployment rate will be around 4% by the end of 2023, compared to 3.7% nationally.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Revenue announced first quarter revenue from cannabis sales: $131.9 million from excise tax and $30.7 million from cultivation tax.

Local:

On Tuesday, organizers of the Dr. Jen Campbell recall announced that their effort has failed due to a combination of pandemic induced challenges and the fact that Dr. Campbell has too “low name recognition” to inspire her constituents to action. We’ll let that one sink in… 🙃

Mayor Todd Gloria held a press conference to launch the “Parks For All Of Us” Initiative, also referred to as the Parks Master Plan. The initiative was first introduced last year as part of the Complete Communities package where the City Council requested that staff further revise the plan. City Staff will be presenting the initiative to the Chamber’s Transportation & Land Development Committee during their June meeting since it will be moving forward to City Council sometime later this summer. If members would like more information or would like to provide feedback on the draft plan, please email acalinog@sdchamber.org.

The County’s Redistricting Commission will be holding informational meetings with the public during the month of June to inform constituents on the current status of shaping the five district boundaries maps. Maps are expected to be completed by December 15, 2021.

The San Diego Public Library’s virtual Summer Reading Program has begun. Check out their site for great activities and prizes for all ages.

Check out Mayor Todd Gloria’s op-ed supporting SB 9,  which streamlines processes for creating duplexes and subdividing existing lots to up to four units in residential areas. The Chamber was proud to support SB 9 in March.

Upcoming Hearings

  • City of San Diego Planning Commission will meet on June 3.
  • San Diego City Council will meet on June 8.
  • County Board of Supervisors will meet on June 8 & June 9.
  • County of San Diego Planning Commission will meet on June 11.

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.
  • Apply for your first or second PPP Loan now! Learn more here.
  • The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) is accepting applications for a small business hiring credit against California state income taxes or sales and use taxes. The credit (authorized by SB 1447) is available to certain California qualified small business employers that receive a tentative credit reservation. Learn more here.
  • 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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