Legislative Update – November 5 - SD Regional Chamber

Legislative Update – November 5

November 5 – Weekly Update

It wasn’t just you. In an interesting article, the LA Times reports that delivery services and search engines were all about stress-eating and drinking on Tuesday. And although Trump claimed an early victory, and the numbers look to provide a clear path for Biden, the general anxiousness of the country is enough to tell you that we still don’t have 100% clarity.  But we do have a 100% chance of lawsuits, so stay tuned.

In terrifying news, a mutated version of COVID-19 was found to exist, and be transmitted to humans via mink living on mink-farms in Denmark.  Twelve people so far have been infected.

Like we keep saying: This year has been hard. Please take care of yourself. If nobody else has told you today, you deserve a nap.

Finally, wishing a very Happy Veterans Day to all who have served in the Armed Services! Thank you and your family for your service to our nation.

Business News:

Southwest’s direct flights from San Diego to Honolulu have started!

After 40 years in the making, U.S. Navy Region Southwest has finally moved to its new downtown headquarters! While Navy Building One currently stands alone, it won’t be long before biotech and life science neighbors join the San Diego waterfront.

Legislative Update:


Federal:
 

When all of this [the pandemic] is over” might not come until 2022. Health experts are calling for a more uniform national response to speed up recovery after wide variance in state pandemic strategies. With a vaccine (hopefully) coming soon, scientists are looking towards improving antiviral treatments and researching the effects of immunity as part of a long-term strategy.

PPP borrowers receiving over $2 million in PPP loans will be required to complete loan necessity questionnaires. Last week, SBA requested PPP lenders to begin issuing over 50,000 questionnaires to both private and non-profit organizations. For more information, read here.

Homes in forbearance dropped again– possibly indicating that the peak numbers from April are continuing a positive, downward trend. However, 2.9 million homes remain in forbearance as of October.

International:

Europe is reimposing lockdowns as COVID numbers escalate. Milan has been shut down, as well as Lombardy in Italy. Britain is imposing a shutdown, but schools will remain open.

Baja’s Secretariat of Health shared an updated report that provides a COVID-19 curve across the state, and in comparison with the rest of Mexico and the world. It also includes a map with confirmed and active cases per neighborhood and hospital occupancy at the state’s COVID-19 designated centers. In anticipation of flu season, the State of Baja continues to work to ensure access to flu shots in each municipality. Efforts include a new drive-thru system located at Tijuana’s General Hospital to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The service is free and available Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00am to 1:00pm with no appointments needed.

Baja Governor Jaime Bonilla delivered his first State of the State Address virtually from the City of Tijuana on November 1. He provided an overview of a list of 100 projects he committed to accomplishing during his tenure. The presentation included a report on 93 of these projects, including the promotion of renewable energy projects and the creation of Baja’s Water Management, Sanitation, and Protection Agency to coordinate water organisms across the state and address transboundary pollution impacting our region.

The U.S. Environmental and Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public meeting taking place virtually on Friday, November 20 at 10:00am. The EPA will provide an update on the evaluation of infrastructure projects to support a comprehensive solution to transboundary pollution issues in our region, in accordance with the new trilateral agreement (USMCA). You can join the meeting by clicking here or calling 1(628)246-1234 (Conference ID: 649 311 295#).

Register here for the Chamber’s International Tribute Awards taking place virtually on Tuesday, December 1. U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau will be joining us to share his thoughts on the future of the U.S.-Mexico relationship. We will also recognize outstanding individuals and businesses that have made a significant impact in the international efforts bridging U.S. and Mexican economies every year.  2020 award recipients are:

  • Toyota, International Business of the Year
  • Luis M. Hernandez, President of INDEX Zona Costa, Cross-Border Leader of the Year
  • Cross-Border Xpress (CBX), Cross-Border Hero

State:

In a big win for Uber and Lyft, Proposition 22 passed. What happens now will likely set the table for generations to come as legislative discussions around the gig economy reconvene – with a clear directive from voters.

Proposition 21, the local rent control initiative, failed to pass. The two major property tax initiatives on the ballot are still not finalized but it does look like Proposition 15 may not pass while Proposition 19 has a slight lead.

The coronavirus relief package never made it through Pelosi and Mnuchin’s negotiations. Several unemployment programs are at risk to end December 31, including pandemic unemployment assistance and emergency unemployment compensation. Federal-State Extended Duration Benefits (FED-ED), which extends benefits for an additional 20 weeks, will continue.

The Department of Finance issued a letter directing 5% budget cuts by February 1 in all state agencies. The letter heavily references telework and remote work as options to help find those cost savings.

California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy received some new updates as of October 20. The California Department of Public Health and OSCHA published new guidance for industries including hotels, lodging, and short term rentalsfitness centerspersonal care services,  public and private transitfamily entertainment, and retail.

If you’re looking for a good review of the most chaotic legislative cycle in recent memory, California Strategies was nice enough to share theirs, you’ll find it attached. And it’s some good distraction reading if 24/7 election coverage has you feeling things.

Local:

San Diego County remains in the Red Tier this week, however, case rate data released Tuesday puts us in the first week of Purple Tier data. Reminder, two weeks of data are required before a county moves into a more or less restricted tier. A number of changes would occur if we were to move into the Purple Tier, the most restrictive tier. Some of the changes that would occur are, restaurants, places of worship, museums, aquariums and zoos would only be allowed to operate outdoors, lower indoor capacity for retail, and schools not already open cannot reopen. A full rundown can be found here. We’ll learn our fate next Tuesday.

Last week, the City Council unanimously approved a seven part action plan addressing affordable housing written by the Housing Commission. The plan includes measures such as extensions on deed restrictions, designated funding for preservation, and an interagency working group.

The City’s Budget Committee will meet on Friday, November 13th at 9am. Agenda here. 

On Monday, the Council will consider Complete Communities. Agenda here

Tuesday’s Council agenda can be found here.

**Correction: last week’s email incorrectly referenced Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment giving the Supreme Court a conservative majority for the first time since 1930. And the last Dodger title was ‘88 not ‘98. Our apologies!!

Capital Opportunities & Resources:

  • 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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