During a time of certain anxiety and uncertainty, Governor Newsom as well as the California Legislature has taken swift, decisive and bipartisan action in an effort to support Cities, Counties and school districts to combat the growing spread of COVID-19 otherwise known as the Novel Coronavirus. All efforts are aimed at “flattening the curve” of those who will become infected—preserving resources (e.g. medical staff, hospital beds, ventilators etc.) for those Californians at the highest risk levels. The Newsom Administration has launched a new “public awareness campaign to provide useful information to Californians and inform them of actions they can take to further prevent the spread of the virus. The campaign is anchored by a new, consumer-friendly website, www.covid19.ca.gov, that highlights critical steps people can take to stay healthy and resources available to Californians impacted by the outbreak, including paid sick leave and unemployment assistance”.
- Brown Act Compliance guidelines for local agencies (See section 11)
- School district funding for schools that have closed
- Providing local government flexibility in enacting eviction protection ordinances, slowing foreclosures and protecting vulnerable populations from utility shutoffs
- Calling up the California National Guard to assist local agencies and the public at large
On March 16, Governor Newsom sent a letter to the Legislature waiving the 72 hour “in print rule” for emergency legislation. This action enabled the Legislature to unanimously vote on an emergency spending package up to 1.1 billion dollars to combat the spread of this virus.
In another unprecedented move, the State Legislature enacted Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 189 which allows both houses of the Legislature to temporarily adjourn from March 17 through April 13—leaving the door open for a further extension if needed. Given that major Cities and Counties across the state have instituted a series of “in shelter” orders and social distancing requirements this move comes at little surprise. State lawmakers will spend the coming weeks in their districts working with their local jurisdictions in ongoing response to this global pandemic.
The situation continues to rapidly evolve as more testing becomes available and as Cities, Counties and hospitals brace for what is likely to be a spike in critical cases across California.
RPPG (while adhering to state and local directives regarding social distancing and in-sheltering) will continue to operate remotely, working with our clients to provide policy guidance, political expertise and technical support. The RPPG team can be available via webcast or conference call if needed seven days a week. Please contact Dane Hutchings, Director of Government Affairs at email@example.com or call 916-230-6935.