February 4, 2022
Weideman Group Weekly
Monday marked the last day for bills that were introduced in 2021 to pass their house of origin. Some of the most watched bills at the deadline included AB 257 (Holden), creating a commission to regulate labor standards for fast food industry workers, and AB 1400 (Kalra), establishing a government run single payer health care system in California. AB 257 successfully cleared the Assembly Floor marking a big win for organized labor and now moves on to the Senate. The single payer bill, which has been struggling to gain traction in California for the last 15 years, died after the author announced he did not plan to bring it up for a vote on the Assembly Floor. When asked about his decision, Assemblymember Kalra stated, “I don’t believe it would have served the cause of getting single payer done by having the vote and having it go down in flames and further alienating members.”
Assemblymember Chris Holden celebrating the passing of AB 257
Early Budget Action
The Legislature is moving forward with early budget bills on several items where there is agreement with the Governor. These include budget bills reinstating several tax credits that were suspended a few years ago, such as the Net Operating Loss and the Research & Development Tax Credit. Other early action items include extending the COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave policy, providing additional funds for rental assistance, and more. The Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on the early budget package this week and the Assembly Budget Committee is set to hold a hearing on Monday. The houses could take a vote on these items and send them to the Governor as early as next week.
Movers & Shakers
Assemblymember Autumn Burke, representing Assembly District 62
and Chair of the Revenue and Taxation Committee, resigned from
the Assembly earlier this week creating the fifth vacancy in the
House. Her district director and Mayor of Lawndale, Rober
Pullen-Miles, has announced his candidacy to succeed Burke. The
Governor has called for a special election to take place on April
5th, syncing it with several of the other previously announced
special elections. In separate news, Assemblymember Richard Bloom
announced he is dropping out of Los Angeles County’s District 3
Supervisor race where he would have faced fellow legislators
Senators Henry Stern and Bob Hertzberg.
Governor Newsom appointed a new head of the Employment Development Department, Nancy Farias, who has served as Chief Deputy Director of External Affairs, Legislation and Policy at the EDD since 2020. Farias, someone Weideman Group has worked closely with over her career, will be the 3rd Director to lead the embattled Department over the last 16 months. Additionally, California’s first Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris announced she will step down from her role on February 11th and Government Operations Agency Secretary Yolanda Richardson will step down on March 2nd.
Vaccines for Under 5
The FDA has received a request from Pfizer and BioNTech for Emergency Use Authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine to be used on children under 5. The FDA’s vaccine advisory committee will be meeting on February 15th to discuss the request. If approved, children as young as 6 months will be able to receive the vaccine.
Clean Energy Future Comes into Focus, Kind of
The California Independent Systems Operator released its first-ever 20-year transmission outlook for the state’s energy grid. The analysis estimates about $30 billion worth of infrastructure will be needed to meet the state’s clean energy goals and accommodate an estimated 120 gigawatts of new clean energy resources that is projected to be needed by 2040. The analysis also evaluates transmission needs to accommodate accelerated clean energy targets and about 21 gigawatts of offshore wind. On the other side of the meter, the California Public Utilities Commission announced an indefinite delay in considering changes to the state’s net energy metering program for distributed solar resources.