Legislative Update – October 14

October is Filipino-American History Month! The month is chosen to commemorate the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental US, when sailors on a Spanish ship landed in Morro Bay in 1587.  The more you know. Be sure to check out the San Diego Public Library’s series of events this month, and the Filipino-American History Celebration this Saturday.

In other news, raise a glass for Queen Elizabeth, who has been advised by her doctors that she give up her daily adult beverage for health reasons. And, to answer your question: it’s dry martinis. Like we always say, the more you know.

Business News

!!! New Meeting Alert: The Chamber is bringing back the Chamber Summit! We’ll be convening a regional business stakeholder group to stay up to date on federal, state and local regulations, capital opportunities for local businesses, and much much more. If you are part of a Chamber, business association, BID or EDC, we would love for you to join. Email sbales@sdchamber.org for details.

Also in Chamber news: We’re reopening our Public Affairs internship program. If you know of any students or recent graduates that would love to work with our Public Policy department, please direct them to https://sdchamber.org/about/careers/.

Stay classy, San Diego: We’ve been ranked in the top three US travel destinations and first in the Western region.

San Diego Loyal are partnering with Veterans Village San Diego for their upcoming game on October 24. A portion of the ticket sales will benefit VVSD – that’s some American football this policy team can get behind.

Bulk buying for your business? Costco is opening a new business center in San Marcos. The central location was chosen to better serve the region’s restaurants, breweries, and industrial businesses with items not available in traditional Costco locations.

Chamber member Cordoba Corporation is providing a special program support to the Building Business Success Program described below in the email from the Council for the Supplier Diversity. Subject matter experts from Cordoba Corporation will serve as professional instructors for half of the educational sessions found here.

National CORE’s Palm Avenue Trolley Station project has been approved by the MTS Board of Directors. The Chamber is proud to have supported this mixed-use, mixed-income transit oriented development project!

Legislative Updates


Federal:
 

You know, for something called reconciliation, it’s not all that conciliatory.  Letters are flying from members, advocates, and trade organizations about what should and shouldn’t be cut from the package worth at least $1.2 trillion (depending on when you ask, and where the moon is in the sky, and whether you had cheerios for breakfast, that package is worth $3.5 trillion sometimes). And due to all that confusion, an impressive 10% of Americans say they know “specifics” of the plan.  So what is in it? Again, depends on when, and who you ask. But Pelosi had some comments on climate change. There’s other ideas about empowering the IRS to check in on your venmo game. And a possible global minimum corporation tax, among other things.

Three percent of the US workforce quit their jobs in August, and two in five of those that quit worked in retail, restaurants and hospitality. Major drivers include health concerns from the delta variant surge, access to childcare and remote working options.

Santa’s gonna have a tough 2021. Supply chain experts, everyone’s favorite experts these days, are saying that the logjam of ships, trucks and empty store aisles probably won’t be better in time for the holidays.

The House voted to raise the federal borrowing limit by $480 million on Tuesday, buying time for the government to pay its bills until December 3

On Wednesday, the FDA released their assessment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine booster before FDA advisers meet today and Friday. The report found that the booster was effective in improving immune defenses, although the report notes limitations in J&J’s data.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted unanimously to recommend emergency use authorization of Moderna’s COVID-19 booster shot.

International:

ABOUT TIME! After more than 18 months of travel restrictions at our land ports of entry, DHS announced that fully vaccinated travelers from Canada and Mexico will be able to enter the US starting next month. In addition, starting January 2022, all inbound foreign travelers crossing into the U.S. will be required to provide proof of vaccination. Not a U.S. citizen? This chicken can tell you they’ll escort you back the way you came from if you fail to comply so have your passport and proof of vaccination ready!

Supervisor Vargas submitted a resolution urging the federal government to provide economic opportunities for businesses and communities impacted by restrictions. The Chamber applauds the efforts of business organizations and government officials in the region who joined us in urging the federal government to lift restrictions that directly impacted our economy and cross-border workforce.

Join us next Wednesday, October 20th at 10:00am on a virtual conversation with Thomas Overacker, Executive Director, Cargo and Conveyance Security at U.S. Customs and Border Protection. We will hear about the agency’s efforts to increase efficiencies at cargo inspections and fill vacancies at regional ports of entry, updates on how vaccine verification will take place, and how we can work together to reduce border delays causing over $3.4 billion in lost economic output every year.

Baja’s Governor-elect Marina del Pilar announced new cabinet members: Lourdes Cáñez, incoming Director of the State’s Sports and Physical Culture Institute; Netzahualcóyotl Jáuregui as Secretary of Welfare; and former Tijuana Mayor Kurt Honold, who will serve as Secretary of Economy and Innovation. The new administration takes office November 1st.

Chaired by Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero, the Baja Municipal Committee was created in partnership with Baja Governor Bonilla to increase collaboration across the state. The first item on their agenda will be working with the Federal Commission of Electricity (CFE) to restore electricity supply to the Colorado River -Tijuana Aqueduct which has limited water supply in Tijuana.

Barcelona has banned short-term private room rentals. The new rule is the only one of its kind in a major European city and is fueling a debate on how the city can protect its economy while addressing housing issues.

Countries around the world are feeling the global energy crisis– in China, some provinces are rationing electricity while Europeans pay exorbitant prices of LP. Lights also went out in Lebanon as two power stations shut down following a fuel shortage. All of this ahead of the Cop26 summit in Glasgow later this month, where renewable energy advocates urge us to move away from fossil fuels.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a phone call with Mexican President Lopez Obrador, who congratulated him on his re-election. The conversation focused on the MX-CAN economic relationship and shared commitment to ensure USMCA continues to provide a strong, stable framework for growth and prosperity across North America.

State:

A total of 770 laws  were signed and 66 vetoed by Governor Gavin Newsom in this year’s legislative session. A few of the final bills he signed are cocktails to-go, making an ethnic studies high school graduation requirement, building out broadband infrastructure, and banning gas-powered leaf blowers. Vetoed bills include requiring local governments to allow residents to remotely attend hearings through 2023, decriminalizing jaywalking, and expanding Cal Grant. For a recap on new employment laws, check out CalChamber’s write up found here.

What’s next? The 2022 legislative agenda will continue to see discussion on the recall process, COVID-19 related bills, and don’t forget…it’ll be an election year!

The California Department of Justice is investigating the cause of the oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach. Tar balls from the spill are washing up on San Diego beaches, and the County Health and Human Services Agency has issued a public advisory to avoid contact and report to tarballreports@wildlife.ca.gov.

Local:

You’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise because of… reasons.., but officials confirmed this week that San Diego County will NOT be requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry at restaurants, shopping centers and other indoor settings, local officials announced Wednesday.

A number of environmental and labor organizations are lining up to reduce, reuse and/or recycle the People’s Ordinance. The effort to throw out a 101-year old law in the city of San Diego will rumble on for some time, much like those trash bins that are at the heart of this issue.

The San Diego City Council heard an informational update from staff detailing the progress made on the meat and potatoes of an ordinance governing short-term vacation rentals. With several council members requesting that a lottery system be implemented that prioritizes “good actors” plus the need for this to be signed off by theCoastal Commission, there’s a lot more work to be done before this thing kicks into effect.

The City of San Diego’s draft Climate Resilient SD Plan is now available for public review and input. The plan is to prepare for response and recovery from climate change-related impacts.

#DigitalDSD Webinar Wednesdays are back! Check out the City of San Diego Development Services Department’s website and sign up for future webinars  on how to submit your permit applications online. Past webinars are also available to view on their website.

The San Diego Housing Commission concluded construction of five Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) as part of a pilot program designed to report out lessons learned to those looking to build their own ADUs. Permitting for ADU construction has been on the rise in recent years and the report is intended to help alleviate headaches for homeowners looking to join in on the fun (and side-eye from their neighbors).

Last week, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority approved two contracts to begin the Terminal 1 expansion project. Construction can begin as soon as November, following the Federal Aviation Administration’s environmental review process. Let’s go!

The Port’s Board of Commissioners spent the bulk of Tuesday’s meeting discussing how to best offload the worst emission-generating goings-on along the working waterfront in the Maritime Clean Air Strategy (MCAS). After five hours and some change, the MCAS was approved.

Efforts to reinforce our understanding of cliff erosion got a big boost when AB 66, authored by Assemblymember Tasha Boerner-Horvath, was signed. The bill provided funding for a $2.5 million study to be conducted over three years by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Upcoming County Public Input Opportunities Reminders:

  • A special meeting of the Palomar Airport Advisory Committee will be held to consider changes to the McClellan-Palomar Airport Master Plan Update and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) tonight at 7:00pm.
  • A public workshop on the establishment of the Office of Environmental and Climate Justice will be held on October 19.
  • The Office of Equity and Racial Justice will hold community engagement sessions for their budget equity tool and equity impact fund on October 26 and October 28.

Upcoming City Public Input Opportunities Reminders:

  • The Planning department will host a Climate Resilient SD plan public workshop on October 19.
  • The online engagement survey for the University City Community Plan Update is open until October 31. The plan has different housing and job options for five focus areas in the community to weigh in on.  There is also an opportunity to provide feedback at one of their open houses on October 19 & October 20.

Upcoming Hearings

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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