Weideman COVID-19 Update
June 2, 2021
Vax for the Win
Governor Newsom announced Vax for the Win, a $116.5 million incentive program to help increase vaccination rates as the state approaches its June 15th reopening target date. Under the program, a lottery will award 10 lucky Californians that have at least had their first vaccine shot $1.5 million each and 30 people will win $50,000. The $50,000 prizes will be awarded on Friday June 4th and June 11th and the grand prizes will be awarded on June 15th. The state is additionally offering $50 gift cards starting today to the next two million people that get vaccinated. California currently has an estimated 12 million unvaccinated people who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. More information on the vaccination lottery can be found here.
Polls Continue to Favor Newsom
A recent poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California found that 57% of likely California voters support keeping Gavin Newsom in office. Previous polls conducted by PPIC and other reputable sources have also demonstrated support for Newsom and opposition to his recall. The combination of the polling and the upcoming June 15th reopening is providing the Governor momentum as the state approaches the pending recall election. A date for the recall election has not yet been set, but it is likely to occur in late summer or the fall.
Going Once, Going Twice…SOLD
California and Quebec announced results from the May 19th joint Cap-and-Trade emissions auction. The auction raised over $900 million for California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) and represents the third consecutive sold out auction. Monies collected from the Cap-and-Trade program are deposited into the GGRF, which funds numerous environmental related programs such as renewable energy, zero emission vehicles, recycling, sustainable agriculture, environmental restoration and safe drinking water.
OffShore Wind Advances
Governor Newsom announced a partnership with the federal government to open up offshore wind development in California to help the state achieve its clean energy goals. The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will offer a lease sale as early as 2022 in a 399 square mile area off the Central Coast northwest of Morro Bay and in a separate area on the North Coast. Once developed, wind turbines could bring 4.6 gigawatts to the grid, enough clean energy to power 1.6 million homes. More information on the announcement can be found here.
Capitol Open for Business
The California State Capitol building will be reopening to the public on a limited basis in the coming weeks. Legislative leadership has indicated that they will allow for 25% capacity, including staff, and will adhere to physical distancing requirements at least until the end of July. Staff will be clear to come back to work on June 21st pending CalOSHA approval. The majority of meetings will continue to be virtual and remote committee testimony operations will remain in place. That said, we are seeing more and more policy makers take face-to-face meetings at coffee houses and restaurants.