Weideman COVID-19 Update
June 5, 2021

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House of Origin Deadline

The Legislature dispensed with hundreds of bills ahead of today’s house of origin deadline. All bills that made it out of their house of origin by today will now move to the opposite house for consideration in the coming months. Bills that didn’t make it out of their house of origin by today will be eligible to move in January 2022, unless it is a measure that was defeated in committee. Some high profile bills that were passed include SB 380 (Eggman) improving access to the End of Life Option Act, AB 970 (McCarty & Chiu) expediting permitting processes for electric vehicle infrastructure, AB 525 (Chiu)  supporting the development of offshore wind, SB 596 (Becker) directing the California Air Resource Board to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the cement and concrete industries, SB 423 (Stern) creating standards for long duration storage, SB 17 (Pan) establishing the Office of Racial Equity, AB 1395 (Muratsuchi) reducing emissions by 90% below 1990 levels by 2045, and AB 1130 (Wood) establishing the Office of Health Care Affordability. Policy committees will begin meeting next week to hear bills being sent over from the opposite house.

Workplace Safety

After a very lengthy debate, Cal/OSHA approved new workplace rules that will go into effect June 15th, the same date the state is poised to reopen and move beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The OSHA rules state that workplaces where all employees are fully vaccinated can go without masks, workplaces where all employees are not vaccinated must continue to use masks and employers will need to provide N95 masks, and physical distancing must remain in place until July 31.

Plotting the Path to Carbon Neutrality

California energy agencies held workshops to discuss zero emission vehicle fueling infrastructure to support the transition to zero emission vehicles in medium- and heavy-duty fleets, and planning for building clean energy resources needed to achieve the state’s 100 percent clean energy requirements under SB 100. This activity leads up to CARB’s formal kick-off of the Carbon Neutrality Scoping Plan development process, which includes a meeting of the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee today, and three days of workshops next week exploring strategies needed to achieve net-zero and net-negative greenhouse gas emissions in California.

Economic Boom

The UCLA Anderson Forecast released a report stating that California’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 protected its economy and California is now poised to have one of the best years of economic growth since World War II. According to the forecast, the Golden State is projected to grow and add jobs faster than the U.S. as a whole.
 

One for the Road

Governor Newson extended regulatory relief allowing for outdoor dining and restaurants to offer to-go cocktails through December 31. The Governor said take-out drinks are key to helping restaurants recover from the pandemic. SB 389 (Dodd) is currently making its way through the legislature and would extend this policy through statute in perpetuity.