Governor Gavin Newsom provided an updated on COVID-19. He said that 392 individuals have tested positive in CA, which is 57 more than yesterday – 15 percent increase.
Newsom also provided an update on actions the state has taken in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. He said that the state will now direct restaurants to close, which goes beyond his request yesterday for social distancing. He further noted it aligns with local efforts in LA and the Bay Area. Additionally, Newsom cautioned that there should be no large gatherings in the state.
Earlier today at around 2:34 PM, Newsom sent the following letter to the California Legislature asking for emergency legislative action to fight COVID-19. The text of the letter can be found here: https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/3.16.20-File-Notice-Letter.pdf.
In response, the Senate and Assembly passed a relief package that could ultimately reach $1 billion. More specifically:
- - SB 89/AB 89 – Amends the 2019-20 budget to provide emergency appropriations related to COVID 19 Pandemic and the Camp Fire. Provides $500 million and authority for total expenditures of up to $1 million to the State to address various aspects of the COVID-19 crisis.
- - SB 117/AB 117 – Makes changes to education programs adopted as part of the Budget Act of 2019 in response to COVID-19.
Tonight, at 6:50 PM, following yesterday’s announcement that older adults and those at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 should isolate, Newsom issued an executive order “to protect the health and safety of Californians most vulnerable to COVID-19 residing at health care, residential and non-residential facilities licensed by the state.” The order directs state health and social services agencies to redirect resources and staff to the facilities, focusing on providing technical assistance and supporting compliance with core health and safety requirements for caregivers and the cared for. The full order can be found here: https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/3.15.2020-COVID-19-Facilities.pdf.
Newsom also issued an executive order that authorizes local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slows foreclosures, and protects against utility shutoffs for Californians affected by COVID-19. The full order can be found here: https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/3.16.20-Executive-Order.pdf.
The Governor has also said that the U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to California small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus. More information can be found here: http://www.oesnews.com/sba-offers-disaster-assistance-to-california-small-businesses-economically-impacted-by-the-coronavirus-covid-19/.
As for the Legislative Session, a little after 8:30 PM, the Senate and the Assembly both voted that the Legislature shall be in joint recess from March 20, 2020, until April 13, 2020.
The Legislature may extend the joint recess by joint proclamation of the President pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly. The resolution also specified that the Legislature may recall itself from the joint recess by joint proclamation of the President pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly. The full text of the ACR 189 can be found here: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200ACR189.
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