April 1, 2022
Weideman Group Weekly
Eleni Makes History
Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis made history by becoming the first woman in California to sign a bill into law. Kounalakis is serving as Acting Governor while Governor Newsom is out of the state and memorialized this moment, which happened to also be the last day of Women’s History Month, by signing AB 2179 (Grayson) extending eviction protections for Californians waiting on rental relief applications to be processed. She also signed SB 504 (Becker) allowing military and overseas voters and voters with disabilities to complete a same day voter registration and cast a ballot.
Governor Newsom signed an executive order directing the State Water Resources Control Board to develop regulations that would curtail the watering of decorative grass such as lawns around commercial buildings. The regulations would exclude residential lawns or grass used for recreation, such as school fields, sports fields and parks. The move will save an estimated 700,000 acre-feet of water at a time when California is facing a serious drought.
Fighting Fire with Fire
The Governor’s Task Force on Wildfire and Forest Resilience has released a strategic plan to expand the use of prescribed burning in an effort to mitigate wildfire. The plan calls for the prescribed burning of 400,000 acres annually by 2025 as part of the state’s goal to treat 1 million acres of land annually. California has experienced larger and longer wildfire seasons over the past few years with drought conditions exacerbating the destruction. The full strategic plan can be found here.
Vaccine Bill Held
Assemblymember Buffy Wicks has decided to hold AB 1993, one of the most controversial bills of the legislative session. The bill would have compelled employers to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination of their employees unless the person was ineligible due to a medical condition, disability or sincerely held religious belief. The bill received strong opposition from labor unions and business groups. The author sighted California’s record low COVID-19 rates as a significant reason for deciding to hold the bill.