Legislative Update – November 10

We’re coming at you a day early in recognition of Veteran’s Day. There’s no shortage of ways to honor our veterans here locally, but if you need some inspiration, here’s a list.

Happy 246th Birthday, Marine Corps. On this day in 1970, Commandant Chapman called on Marines to celebrate the anniversary “not as an end of almost two centuries of dedicated service, but as preparation for new service, new dedication and new achievement.” Read the full birthday message from Commandant Berger here.

 

 Join us on November 18 for our upcoming IBA Forum on the role of cultural awareness and protocol play when navigating the international business landscape. Speakers will share best practices on business etiquette across cultures focusing on some of San Diego’s top trade partners: Mexico, Canada, Japan, China, and the United Kingdom.

 

Business News

 

This week, Chamber member Viasat closed a $4 billion deal to buy Inmarsat Group Holdings, merging two prominent geostationary satellite companies. This merger would expand Viasat’s fleet of satellites to 24, with another 10 satellites to launch over the next three years.

 

It’s the 13th Annual San Diego Beer Week! The ten day event honors America’s finest independent craft brewers, and you can celebrate by checking out events at local breweries this weekend.

 

Yesterday, the San Diego Board of Port Commissioners voted unanimously to approve Chamber member Austal USA to become a tenant of the waterfront. Their expansion will allow them to focus on ship repair for the US Navy, Military Sealift Command and Coast Guard ships. Congratulations, Austal USA!

 

Legislative Updates


Federal:
 

 

Biden dropped his emergency temporary standard (ETS) on us last week, and then the courts said “oh no you don’t” and held it after a number of states, employers and religious groups brought suit. A ruling is expected within the week, but don’t expect much clarity until we hear from the Supreme Court. (Psssst- just because it was held up doesn’t mean there’s no guidance, Cal/OSHA is still rocking and rolling).

 

IT’S INFRASTRUCTURE SZN: The White House released a fact sheet on what the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act means for California. The state is anticipated to receive $25.3 billion for highways, $9.45 billion to improve public transportation options, $100 million in broadband investment, and more.

 

International:

 

In great news for our binational region, the World Design Organization (WDO) announced that San Diego and Tijuana have been selected as the 2024 World Design Capital. Our region will become the first binational capital, selected as a result of our commitment to human-centered design and legacy of cross-border collaboration to transform our natural and built environments.

 

And the good news keeps rolling in! The EPA announced a $630M holistic approach to transboundary pollution impacting the Tijuana River Valley. Upgrades include expanding the existing South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant operated by the U.S. section of the IBWC, diverting and treating water at a new facility adjacent to the treatment plant, exploring water reuse options in Mexico, and repairing portions of the collection system south of the border to prevent sewage leaks.

 

Foreign-born, fully vaccinated travelers are now able to enter the U.S. via land, air, or ferry. DHS released a FAQ sheet with details and urged travelers to process their I-94 permit online via the CBP OneTM app and avoid rush hour traffic. The Chamber joined Mayor Todd Gloria, County Supervisor Nora Vargas, Baja Governor Marina del Pilar, Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero and other regional elected officials and stakeholders at a press conference at the San Ysidro Port of Entry to celebrate the end of restrictions impacting our border community.

 

Following the cross-border vaccination program which successfully immunized over 26,000 Mexican workers of US-based companies in Tijuana, a pilot program for minors was launched. The program aims to vaccinate 450 children from Baja California at the Mexican Consulate in San Diego. This week, 150 participants were driven by bus from Tijuana to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose.

 

40 Congress members sent a letter to US Trade Representative Tai and other federal representatives urging the administration to respond to Mexican policies that are perceived to exclude U.S. energy producers in favor of national corporations. Business organizations in Mexico have also expressed their concerns and/or opposition to these legislative proposals.

 

Registration is now open for this year’s International Tribute Awards taking place on Tuesday, December 7th at the Westgate Hotel. Join us to recognize the individuals and businesses that lead binational initiatives bridging the U.S. and Mexican economies.

 

State:

 

Are you eligible for your booster shot? The LA Times made this handy interactive graphic to help you find out.

 

CARB is holding a hearing on November 19th to review their proposed rules for commercial passenger boats, which you may know and love as the sportfishing industry. The Chamber is asking them to rethink this approach since it could devastate our local industry. Check out the coalition page and weigh in.

 

How effective are California’s four pandemic-response digital programs such as MyTurn? CalMatters takes a look here and finds that these tools continue to be useful as many experts agree that the winter surge is upon us.

 

Local:

 

Today, the County Board of Supervisors will be considering changes to the rules of procedures and public engagement at future hearings in response to increased inappropriate conduct at public meetings. Some of the policy considerations include prohibiting disruptive conduct, creating new rules for group presentations, the option to limit public comment to one minute per individual, the development of a consent calendar, requesting that the public bring their own technology for presentations and more.

 

The new Terminal 1 is underway! Construction began this week on the $3.4 billion project after clearing FAA approval on October 22.

 

The UT carried a summary of Climate Resilient SD on Monday, which regular readers of this newsletter will be familiar with by now. The program is set for the November 18 meeting of the City’s Environment Committee before advancing to full council for approval before Jan 1, 2022 in compliance with SB 379.

 

In line with the adaptation strategies outlined in CRSD, Mayor Todd Gloria announced on Wednesday a proposal to update the City of San Diego’s Investment Policy to divest current reserves in fossil fuel companies by December 31, 2021.

 

The Port’s Draft program Environmental Impact Report for its Master Plan Update (PMPU) is now live and available for review from the public. The UT’s Jenn Van Grove put together a great explainer on what the Port is and how it functions as an agency a while back that helps give some context to the significance of the PMPU.

 

On Monday, Mayor Gloria announced the formation of a Military, Veteran and Families Advisory Council with the goal of making San Diego the most welcoming city in the nation for the military, veterans and their families. We are happy to see some familiar faces on the council: Jim Gruny, Jack Harkins, Holly Shafner and Shawn VanDiver!

 

City of San Diego Development Services Department Alert: Plan accordingly! The City has released their holiday office closure schedule and list of limited services during the holiday period. Online DSD services will remain open 24/7.

 

Don’t forget that City and County offices will be closed tomorrow in observance of Veterans Day!

 

Assemblymember Akilah Weber recently held a small business webinar with State Treasurer Fiona Ma. You can watch a recording of the webinar here.

 

Join SANDAG and MTS for a FREE community event on November 21 for the grand opening of the mid-coast trolley extension. The event will include remarks from local leaders,  family-friendly activities, food and refreshments, live music, entertainment, giveaways, free trolley rides, and more!

 

Here’s what happened at this week’s San Diego City Council hearing:

 

Upcoming County Public Input Opportunities Reminders:

 

Upcoming City Public Input Opportunities Reminders:

  • December 14 is a month away, but mark your calendars for the street vending ordinance to come to City Council.
  • The City is seeking feedback on the nonprofits that manage the City’s 18 Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). Take their 3-minute survey here.

 

Upcoming Hearings

  • The San Diego City Council will meet on November 15 and November 16.
  • The San Diego City Economic Development & Intergovernmental Relations Committee will meet on November 17.
  • The San Diego City Environment Committee will meet on November 18.
  • The San Diego City Planning Commission will meet on November 18.
  • The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will meet on November 16 and November 17.

 

Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • The California Competes Grant guidelines for FY 2021-22 have now been posted. The application period will start on January 3, 2022 with $120 million available. More information can be found here in the coming weeks. Applications must be submitted by January 24.
  • 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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