Legislature:  in Shadow Mode Till May 4, 2020
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By Richard Markuson
Government Affairs Analyst,  CEO Pacific Advocacy Group
The world was stood on its’ head in March by the COVID-19 crisis.

As the health and economic crisis expanded in California, the Legislature passed an emergency spending package of two bills (SB 89 and SB 117) for Governor Newsom. It recessed on March 20 for its’ spring recess that has now been extended to May 4, 2020.
Because the Legislature is in recess, there were no hearings – but some bills are being amended in the Senate.
Senator Hurtado amended her SB 1103 that was initially an OSHA bill to now require the California Workforce Development Board, in partnership with the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, to establish and administer the Lifting Families Out of Poverty High Road Training Partnerships Supportive Services Program. The bill would require the board, upon appropriation by the Legislature for that purpose, to make $50,000,000 in grants available to consortia, composed of combinations of local workforce development boards, community colleges, or other stakeholders, that apply for funding to provide supportive services, as defined, and are approved in accordance with the bill. With the economic slowdown that has accompanied the state and local “stay-at-home” orders, it is not likely to move forward.
Senator Beall amended his SB 795 that would establish in state government the Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program, which would be administered by the Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Committee. The bill would authorize a city, county, city and county, joint powers agency, enhanced infrastructure financing district, affordable housing authority, community revitalization, and investment authority, transit village development district, or a combination of those entities, to apply to the Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Committee to participate in the program. It would authorize the committee to approve or deny plans for projects meeting specific criteria.
Executive Orders
Governor Newsom was very busy in March – issuing a series of executive orders to deal with the Coronavirus crisis.
N-25-20 March 12 Directs Californians to follow public health directives, including canceling large gatherings more than 250 people. The order removes the waiting period for unemployment and disability insurance for Californians who lose work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Readies state to commandeer hotels & medical facilities to isolate & treat COVID-19 patients. Allows local and state legislative bodies to hold meetings via conference calls while still meeting state transparency requirements Here
N-26-20 March 13 Order mandates that school districts use dollars to fund distance learning and high-quality educational opportunities, safely provide school meals and arrange for the supervision of students during school hours. The order requires Department of Education and California Health & Human Services Agency to develop strategies to address equity challenges around internet connectivity, ensure students with disabilities receive specialized education, and safely provide meals. Order urges employers to take area school closures into account and provide flexibility during the COVID-19 crisis Here
N-27-20 March 16 Updated California Health Guidance: Seniors and COVID-19 vulnerable residents directed to home isolate. Health care, residential and non-residential facilities licensed by the state, especially those serving senior citizens and other COVID-19 vulnerable populations, will face significant challenges  Here
N-28-20 March 16 The Executive Order authorizes local governments to halt evictions, slows foreclosures, and protects against utility shut offs Here
N-29-20 March 18 The order waives eligibility re-determinations for 90 days for Californians who participate in:
  • Medi-Cal health coverage
  • CalFresh food assistance
  • CalWORKS
  • Cash Assistance for Immigrants; and
  • In-Home Supportive Services
The change will allow current recipients of these safety net programs to continue receiving them without interruption. The executive order also waives certain provisions of the Bagley-Keene Act. Here
N-30-20 March 18 waive, pending federal approval, this year’s statewide testing for California’s more than 6 million students in K-12 schools. Here
N-32-20 March 18 providing flexibility to local governments to spend their emergency homelessness funding on immediate solutions tailored to combatting COVID-19 and its impacts on the homeless population. The Governor also waived certain regulatory barriers for any shelters or facilities built with this emergency funding. Here
N-33-20 March 19 Stay at home order Here

N-35-20 March 21 The order gives the state the ability to increase the health care capacity in clinics, mobile health care units and adult day health care facilities. It also allows local governments more flexibility to utilize the skills of retired employees and reinforces the importance of the delivery of food, medicine and emergency supplies. Here
N-36-20 March 24 No new commitments to state prisons or juvenile facilities will be accepted for the next 30 days Order also directs videoconferencing of all scheduled parole suitability hearings starting next month Here
N-37-20 March 27 authorizing local governments to halt evictions through May 31, 2020. Here
N-38-20 March 27 Order would enable California Chief Justice to take emergency actions for the state’s courts to be able to conduct business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here
N-39-20 March 30 expand health care workforce and staff at least an additional 50,000 hospital beds needed for the COVID-19 surge. Here
N-40-20 March 30 Order provides 90-day extension in state and local taxes, including sales tax. Order extends licensing deadlines and requirements for a number of industries Here
N-41-20 April 1 Funds will be deployed for hospital surge efforts, as well as other needs related to the COVID-19 response Here
N-42-20 April 2 Order protects consumers who may be unable to pay for water service during COVID-19 crisis Here
N-43-20 April 3 allows health care providers to use video chats and applications to provide health services without risk of penalty. Order aligns with federal Health and Human Services guidelines and waivers issued in response to COVID-19 Here
N-44-20 April 3 limit price increases from sellers on critical items, such as food and medical supplies Here
N-45-20 April 4 guidance on prioritizing enrollment of children of essential critical infrastructure workers. Order will suspend restrictions on access to state-subsidized childcare programs. Order also allows California to take advantage of new federal flexibility to provide pandemic SNAP benefits to children to reduce food insecurity Here

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