January 24, 2022
Weideman Group Weekly

Post

Tests & Masks

The federal government launched a website allowing households to place their order for free COVID-19 rapid tests. The tests will be delivered to households by the U.S. Postal Service in the next couple of weeks. This is one of the latest tools the White House is implementing to slow the spread of the omicron variant, which is causing a surge across the nation. Additionally, the federal government will be delivering N95 masks directly to Americans as part of this effort. You can order your COVID-19 tests HERE.

Early Bill Action

The Senate and Assembly Appropriations committees dispensed with their suspense files for two year bills that were still in the first house. A few highlights on bills that cleared the suspense file include SB 3 (Caballero) increasing transparency on an education agency’s local control accountability plans, SB 364 (Skinner) improving nutritional programs at schools, and AB 1400 (Kalra) establishing a single payer health care system in California. AB 1400 is one of the closest watched bills moving in the Legislature right now. It was amended by the Appropriations Committee to make the bill’s passage contingent upon a funding mechanism and adding a requirement that a fiscal report substantiate whether the policy can be implemented. All bills that passed Appropriations move to their respective Floors for a full house vote that must take place by January 31st.

Solar Rule Delayed

The California Public Utilities Commission has delayed consideration of a proposed decision to change California’s Net Energy Metering rules for rooftop solar after receiving intense and widespread backlash. The regulations govern how much owners of solar panels are paid by utilities for the energy they produce and how much they pay for hooking up to the grid. Governor Newsom has stated multiple times that the proposed decision needs work.
 

New Senate Majority Leader

Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins appointed Senator Mike McGuire as the new Majority Leader (essentially the #2 in the Senate) and Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman as the new Assistant Majority Leader. McGuire takes over for Senator Robert Hertzberg who will be Majority Leader Emeritus and is terming out this year. In this new role, Hertzberg will serve as the chief negotiator for ballot propositions in the Senate.

Voting Rights

In Washington DC, Senate Democrats failed to pass voting rights legislation after Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) opposed making changes to filibuster rules needed to move the legislation forward. There has been mounting pressure on Senate Democrats to alter the filibuster after several key White House priorities have stalled. The President stated that he was “profoundly disappointed” that the U.S. Senate “failed to stand up for democracy.”