As federal, state and local decisionmakers continue to work on addressing the current public health crisis, VICA is monitoring their actions to keep our members up-to-date on the situation.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Trump administration has declared a
State of National Emergency
. This declaration makes available $42 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster fund to various state governments.
Congress has voted to pass a legislative response package called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201
). The bill includes provisions for more state flexibility in unemployment benefits, paid sick leave, family and medical leave for employees affected directly or
by the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 18, President Donald Trump signed the bill into law.
On March 18, the U.S. Senate released a $1 trillion economic stimulus package bill, which includes a plan to give checks for cash payments directly to American families. This package includes provisions for $1,200 for every adult in a family, $500 for every child, and caps eligibility for receiving checks to individuals with an annual income of $99,000 or higher.
The Internal Revenue Service extended the deadline for income tax payments to July 15. The deadline for filing tax returns is still April 15, however eligible taxpayers may request a six-month extension.
The California State Legislature limited their meetings to focus on a quick response to the COVID-19 outbreak in California. In response to the Governor's declaration of a state of emergency on March 4,
the Legislature quickly passed Senate Bill 89, which provides $1 billion for emergency funding, and Senate Bill 117, which frees up $100 million available to aid local education agencies. Governor Gavin Newsom signed both bills on March 17.
The State Legislature will adjourn from March 20 to April 13.
In addition to the initial declaration of a state of emergency, Governor Newsom issued Executive Orders which guarantee state funding for affected schools, and puts a halt to evictions, foreclosures and utility shut-offs.
The Governor also suspended standardized testing for schools this year, authorized $150 million in emergency funding to aid Californians experiencing homelessness, and requested $1 billion in federal aid.
On March 19,
Governor Newsom announced a statewide "Stay at Home" order, requiring non-essential businesses; such as dine-in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, convention centers, etc.; to close until further notice. Essential businesses that can maintain continuity in operations are grocery stores, gas stations, medical facilities, pharmacies, banks and laundromats.
On March 15, Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an
to temporarily close all bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, entertainment venues, bowling alleys, arcades, gyms and fitness centers in the City of Los Angeles until March 31. In addition, restaurants were prohibited from serving food to dine-in customers.
The Mayor has ordered a moratorium on evictions during this local emergency period if the tenant can prove an inability to pay rent because of circumstances related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Mayor also relaxed parking enforcement for the next two weeks with a possible extension to three weeks.
Mayor Garcetti also announced that 42 recreation centers will be converted into temporary housing for residents experiencing homelessness.
On March 17, the Los Angeles City Council introduced 55 emergency measures to provide relief and slow the spread of COVID-19. Among these motions were a moratorium on street vending, an emergency 14-day paid sick leave program, 24-hour public park restroom access, and emergency childcare centers for the children of first responders.
On March 19, the City and County of Los Angeles announced a "Safer at Home" order, which went into effect today. The order requires non-essential businesses to close and prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people in an enclosed space. The order will remain in effect for one month.