December 24, 2021
Weideman Group Weekly
New Maps Solidify Democrats
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission has released their final maps for Congressional, Assembly, Senate and Board of Equalization districts. For Congress, the maps seem to favor Democrats, who are expected to hold strong in competitive districts with Republicans playing defense to hold onto their seats in the state. In the State Legislature, the new maps are likely to result in several members of the same party being forced to run against each other. Assuming all members decide to run for election, some of the intraparty races would include Assembly Members Berman and Low in Silicon Valley, Assembly Members Friedman and Nazarian in the San Fernando Valley, and Senators Caballero and Laird in the Central Valley. The maps have solidified the Democratic Party’s chances of maintaining a supermajority in the State Legislature for years to come.
Fighting the Surge
President Biden has announced that his administration will be
making 500 million at-home COVID-19 tests available to the public
and will be deploying military medical personnel to back up
health care workers. Due to the surge in Omicron cases, the White
House also announced they are extending the moratorium on student
loan repayments 90 days, from January 31st to May 1st 2022. In
California, Governor Newsom has announced that health care
workers and nursing home staff will be required to have their
booster shots as part of their vaccination series. Additionally,
the state is ordering 6 million COVID tests for students to take
before returning to in-person instruction after the holiday break
and will be extending hours at COVID-19 testing sites to make
testing more accessible.
Build Back Better Blocked
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced he will not vote to move forward President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, a proposal that includes investments for climate change, education, health care, and more. In order for the BBB bill to move forward, all 50 Democrat U.S. Senators must vote in favor, but Manchin’s announcement put the bill on ice for the holidays. The Democrat Senator has been a critic of the size of the spending plan and the impact it will have on inflation. While Republicans cheer Manchin on and court him to join their party, the President and Democrats in Congress are licking their wounds and regrouping for a January push.
Emissions Fight Reversed
The Department of Transportation is rescinding rules set under the Trump administration that would bar California from setting vehicle emissions standards that are more stringent than those set by the federal government. The move under the Biden administration will allow states to set emissions standards regardless of those set by the federal government.
Back in Action
The California Legislature will return on January 3rd to kick off the 2022 legislative session. This is the second year of a two-year cycle and members will begin introducing new legislation and preparing to move two-year bills soon after they return. We anticipate 2022 will be an extremely active year in the state legislature with lawmakers trying to push many measures that have been sidelined due to the focus on the pandemic and given the massive $30 billion state surplus.