Governor Newsom Lifts Statewide “Stay-at-Home” Order; Restaurants & Personal Services to Reopen
On Monday, 1/25, the Governor announced the lifting of the state’s existing “stay at home order” in all of the major regions of the state which means these areas fall back to the color-coded / tiered reopening system that the state had implemented previously.
The Governor’s announcement would allow restaurants to reopen for outdoor dining (with modifications) as well as personal services like hair salons to open indoors (with modifications). While the Greater Sacramento Region had reopened in mid-January, the Governor’s announcement would allow Southern California, Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area to follow suit and reopen immediately.
Where we are: The state’s existing public health order (12/6/20) imposes a strict stay-at-home order in the state’s 6 major geographic regions if the ICU bed capacity in those regions drops below 15%. Since the signing of that order, the ICU bed capacity had dropped below 15% in most regions, forcing closure of restaurants, hair salons and personal services in those regions.
We are hopeful there’s a light at the end of the tunnel: The Governor’s announcement (1/25/21) takes affect immediately in all regions throughout the state, including the Southern California which affects 8 counties, including LA, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego. The announcement also affects the SF Bay Area and the 9 counties in that region including Sonoma, Napa, Santa Clara, Alameda, Marin because their ICU bed capacities are increasing.
Of course, local jurisdictions can continue impose stricter standards if they choose.
Read the full CDPH release here
COVID-19 Relief & Housing Prioritized in Governor’s Budget Plan
Kicking off the budget process that will be finalized over the next six months, Governor Newsom unveiled a much anticipated 2021-22 state spending plan during a lengthy budget briefing last Friday morning.
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the $227 billion fiscal plan is flush with new spending with significant investment to reopen schools, financial support directly to taxpayers and aid to small-to-medium sized businesses who have been harmed by shut-downs that were imposed to prevent virus spread.
Thanks in large part to strong economic recovery among wealthier earners that have benefited from a red-hot housing market and record stock market gains, the Governor’s plan represents a dramatic shift in anticipated revenues from a year ago which were pegged at potentially a $50 billion budget deficit due to COVID-19 economic impacts.
To support small-to-medium sized businesses, the budget allocates $500 million on small business grants for those impacted by COVID and an additional $430 million in grants and tax credits for business expansion, as well as $71 million in business fee waivers. Eligibility and other information about small business stimulus grants and other relief can be found here
Specific to spending on public health and COVID-19 response, the budget includes nearly $3 billion to expend COVID testing, improve contract tracing, and vaccine distribution. On homelessness and mental health related issues, the Governor is proposing the establishment of CalAIM – an overhaul of the state’s Medi-Cal program that would make it more efficient and effective in treating people with mental health issues, those experiencing homelessness, or substance abuse disorders and ensure people can receive coordinated care at one location. Additionally, the plan allocates $1.75 billion in one-time money to purchase more motels, coined “Project Homekey”, to help deal with increasing homelessness.
Regarding housing and new housing development, the budget plan commits $500 million one-time funding for infill infrastructure and an additional $500 million in low-income tax credits to support low-income housing development. The budget also provides $4.3 million for the Housing & Community Development Department to facilitate affordable housing production through monitoring, technical assistance, and existing housing production laws that require local jurisdictions to meet there affordable housing production requirements.
Bryant Government Affairs
January 2021 Legislative Update