April 7 – Weekly Update - SD Regional Chamber

April 7 – Weekly Update

We’re back in your inbox with the latest round of legislative updates.

After a productive week in DC, we’re already looking forward to our 2022 Leadership Delegation to Sacramento. We’re focusing on housing issues, workforce development, border infrastructure and cannabis. Want to talk about something else, or do you have some San Diego-specific bragging you want to do? Tell the team!

Chamber Trivia of the Week:

We’re back from DC and back to San Diego themed trivia.

On to this week’s question! Which San Diego restaurant has prohibition-era secret passageways to their bar, discovered in 1983?

This week’s winner will be announced on Twitter @SDChamber!

Business News: 

Be sure to register for our upcoming Business Roundtable Webinar on April 12 from 10-11:15 am. Jason Paguio will be moderating an expert lineup ready to answer your business questions and break down the latest regulatory changes at the state and local level. We’ll hear from Gary Johnston, Chief Resilience Officer at the County, Rob Moutrie with the California Chamber of Commerce, and Dan Eaton with Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek. Register here, and respond to this email to submit your business questions for Gary Johnston’s segment.

Congratulations to the Brink at USD for being an inaugural recipient of the California Inclusive Innovation Hub Program. They are one of ten awardees throughout the state.

Northrop Grumman and AT&T announced a collaboration agreement to develop a digital battle network to support the US Department of Defense.  The agreement will allow the two companies to develop and test integrating AT&T’s 5G technology with Northrop Grumman’s military technology capabilities.

On Wednesday, UC San Diego announced they will join a Phase II clinical trial testing various vaccine regimens. With new COVID-19 variants emerging, vaccine manufacturers are developing vaccine regimens specific to certain strains.

SDG&E is hosting webinars to review their recently released report, “Path to Net Zero” which outlines a path for decarbonization throughout the state. Check it out, and if you’re feeling like a real overachiever, join the follow-up webinar on Monday for a deeper dive.

Legislative Updates

Federal: 

Earlier today, the Senate confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. This makes her the first Black woman to be appointed, and in case you didn’t think anything happened in a bipartisan fashion these days, we’ll take a second to point out that three Republican Senators joined their Democrat counterparts in her confirmation vote.

The next commandant of the Coast Guard may be Admiral Linda Fagan, making her the first woman to lead any military service branch if confirmed. (That’s a nice lady-power way to kick off the federal news section, ain’t it?)

On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced the moratorium on student loan payments will be extended until August 31. They will also allow those with paused loans to re enter repayment in good standing, bringing millions of borrowers out of default.

Hope you behaved yourself on that flight to DC. Rep. Swalwell is introducing legislation to ban unruly flyers through a new TSA program. TBD on whether or not it passes, but maybe be on your best behavior.

General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has put out a memo addressing a desire to clarify that employees may refrain from being a captive audience when the employer is discussing their “union or protected activity.”

DOT announced 2022 transit apportionments on Wednesday, with a historic $20 billion investment for transit agencies and regions throughout the country. The funding includes $1.9 billion for California and $161,565,697 for San Diego through FTA’s Urban, Rural, Bus and Enhanced Mobility Formula programs. Check out the summary here.

International:

Planning that milestone birthday or wedding in Mexico? You can now rent Mexico’s presidential plane for your personal events and trips. The plane has been for sale since President Lopez Obrador took office, as he continues to travel commercially across the country.

Ukrainian President Zelensky made a virtual appearance at the 2022 Grammy Awards where he urged support for his country. “What is more opposite to music?” he said, “than the silence of ruined cities”. A recording of his message is available here.

DHS Secretary Mayorkas released a statement in response to the CDC’s announcement to end Title 42. This measure currently grants the U.S. government the ability to ‘prohibit the entrance of individuals to mitigate the spread of a contagious disease’ and authorizes border officials to promptly turn around and deport migrants. It was initially enacted for 30 days in March of 2020 but extended indefinitely later on.

As U.S. fuel prices continue to spike, the Mexican federal government has been successfully keeping fuel under $4/galon by increasing subsidies and suspending fuel taxes across the country. However, due to a supply and demand imbalance caused by the increasing number of U.S. drivers heading south of the border to fill their tanks, Mexico suspended the gasoline subsidy in the northern border until tomorrow, April 8. Gasoline and diesel subsidies have been championed by President Lopez Obrador since he took office and to fulfill his campaign promise to avoid fuel price hikes.

This weekend, Mexicans will head to the polls for the first time in history to vote on the continuation or termination of the President’s term. The public consultation was an initiative of President Lopez Obrador and has been widely supported by the MORENA party.

President Lopez Obrador  introduced a constitutional reform proposing the elimination of 200 positions within the Chamber of Deputies and 32 senate positions in order to ‘federalize the electoral process’ in Mexico. If successful, the reform would give supermajority to the MORENA party and pave the way for the president’s electric and energy reforms which have been largely criticized by the opposition and the business community.

Our friends at the TJEDC hosted a meeting with Dr. Monica Duhem, head of the Global Economic Intelligence Unit of the Mexican Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade. Dr. Duhem shared that Tijuana and Baja California’s future in emerging sectors such as semiconductors and electromobility is highly optimistic due to the installation of global companies in Texas and Arizona, where Mexico can be a link in their supply chains.

The Supply Chain Management Institute is hosting this year’s virtual Spring Symposium on April 12 for industry professionals, educators, and students interested in learning how to incorporate sustainability into existing supply chains. Click here to register.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its Mexican counterpart (SEMARNAT) will host the first Border 2025 National Coordinators Meeting on May 13. This meeting will mark the official launch of the Border 2025 program between Mexico and the United States and will conclude with a session where the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments. Register in advance here.

State:

California rolled out its updated Climate Adaptation Strategy (an effort required every three years). The new plan features partnerships between Go-BIZ, CalSTA, HHS, OPR and half a dozen other alphabet soup variations.

Senator Susan Eggman has proposed eight bills on behavioral health reform with support from the Big City Mayors coalition, which includes San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. The reforms consist of prioritizing prevention and early intervention, improving conservatorship laws, intersystem collaboration, and more.

The County’s Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement is kicking off its work via two working groups- one on education and outreach for workers and employers, and another on enforcement. For more information on this effort, please talk to the Chamber’s policy team, who is participating on both.

The 80th Assembly District race to fill former Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez’s seat is now going to a runoff. On the ballot for the June 7 election will be David Alvarez and Georgette Gomez. Votes are still being counted, but you can check out the current results here.

Cal/OSHA will be posting their new proposed language for the ETS no later than April 11. Check back here.

Last week, Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis assumed the role as Acting Governor and signed a bill to extend statewide eviction protections through June 30. She is the first woman to sign a bill into law in state history, and the bill will allow for all those “in line” for rent relief by the time the application portal closed on 3/31 to access funds if they were eligible.

Local:

We’re sure you tuned into last week’s State of the County address. We’re especially excited about Chair Fletcher’s goal to lead conversations on regional alignment around affordable childcare with the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council.

Mayor Gloria announced his revival of the Commission on the Status of Women at the City. This majority-female team is very much in support!

A new $9.6 millon grant from the California Air Resources Board is bringing clean mobility options to San Diego Unified School District. The grant will be used to bring electric buses, trucks, community event vehicles and bikes in the Lincoln High School area.

Beginning May 1, SANDAG, MTS and NCTD will launch the Youth Opportunity Pass pilot program, which will  provide free services for riders under the age of 1 through June 30.

Save the date! SANDAG’s annual Bike to Work Day will be on May 19. To  learn more about how you or your company can participate, please click here.

San Diego City Council Hearings Recap:

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Hearings Recap:

  • Approved to receive nearly $12 million in U.S. HCD funds for homelessness solutions.
  • Amended the bylaws of the Leon L. Williams Human Relations Committee, specifically on language related to code of conduct.

Upcoming City Public Input Opportunities Reminders:

  • Build Better SD, a citywide initiative to reform DIF fees and to prioritize investments in a more equitable way, is still seeking feedback through their survey. City staff plan to continue the item to the Planning Commission on April 21. If you have questions regarding the proposal, please contact Chamber staff, Angeli Calinog.
  • The College Area Community Plan Update is currently in the land use and urban design concepts review phase and their public survey is open until May 1. To learn more about the CPU update, please click here.
  • The Hillcrest Focused Plan Amendment public survey is open until April 11. The plan amendment aims to provide more options for housing, public spaces, and transportation infrastructure. Learn more about the plan here.

City of San Diego Development Services Department Updates:

  • Cool tools alert! DSD has released a new cannabis mapping tool to assist the industry by noting all currently permitted outlets, production facilities, and zoning in the City. DSD has also launched an updated Downtown development status log and Downtown interactive map that notes all construction activity.
  • DSD is officially contracting with NV5 and 4 Leaf, Inc. to help process submittals, assist in records, and review plans for conformance with all codes across all disciplines with backlogs.

Upcoming County Public Input Opportunities Reminders:

  • The Regional Decarbonization Framework Team will be hosting industry-specific meetings beginning April 7. To learn more about RDF and to sign up for the workshops, click here.

Upcoming Hearings

  • The San Diego City Planning Commission will meet on April 7.
  • The SANDAG Board of Directors will meet on April 8.
  • The San Diego City Council will meet on April 11 and April 12.
  • The San Diego Economic Development and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee will meet on April 13.

Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • Applications are open for micro-enterprise home kitchen operations (MEHKOs) in the County of San Diego.
  • The California Dream Fund has micro grants up to $10k available for entrepreneurs and small business creation.
  • The County of San Diego has $2,500 grants for microbusinesses (five employees or less) operating within the County.
  • 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.
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