Weideman COVID-19 Update
April 2, 2021
American Jobs Plan
President Biden is seeking to build on the successful passage of the American Rescue Plan with a $2 trillion investment in infrastructure and jobs known as the American Jobs Plan. Among other things, the plan contains $621 billion for transportation infrastructure (roadways, railways, bridges and clean energy transportation); $650 billion for retrofitting affordable homes, school buildings, underground water infrastructure and broadband expansion; $400 billion to improve access to quality and affordable care for the elderly and people with disabilities; and, approximately $300 billion to invest in domestic manufacturing and research and development with an emphasis on clean energy, reducing emissions and climate change research. The President’s unveiling of the plan this week kicks off a process that will include a thorough vetting by Congress and consideration of competing plans and priorities.
Biden Embraces Off-Shore Wind
President Biden’s Administration announced concrete steps to support rapid offshore wind deployment and job creation. National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg are collaborating with industry and labor leaders to accelerate the deployment of the offshore wind energy and jobs agenda. The goals include advancing ambitious wind energy projects to create good paying, union jobs, investing in infrastructure to strengthen the domestic supply chain, and supporting critical research and development. The administration also announced the members of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, which will provide advice and recommendations on how to address current and historic environmental injustices. Details on the membership of the Committee can be found here.
Wildfire Preparations Ramp Up
With California’s current drought conditions, the onset of the upcoming wildfire season is ominous. In an effort to prepare the state, Governor Newsom announced the allocation of $80.74 million in emergency funds for 1,399 additional firefighters to reinforce fuels management and wildfire response efforts. Over the last few years California has seen record numbers of catastrophic wildfires, and wildfire preparedness and response continues to be a top priority for the Administration and the Legislature. The Governor’s January Budget proposes nearly $1 billion in wildfire prevention and there are several bills in the Legislature that could potentially place a multi-billion dollar bond on the ballot to allocate millions of dollars for wildfire mitigation.
Early Recall Polling Favors Newsom
A recent poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California shows Governor Newsom’s chances of surviving the recall effort holding steady. When asked whether they would vote in favor of recalling Newsom, only 40% of California likely voters said they would vote yes. At a comparable moment in time in his recall campaign, former Governor Gray Davis had a two-thirds disapproval rating. Signatures are still being verified, but it is expected that there will be enough to trigger a recall election, likely to be held in the November timeframe.
California Native American Legislative Caucus
Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon and Assembly member James Ramos announced the formation of the California Native American Legislative Caucus, which Ramos will lead. The Caucus will be charged with increasing awareness and education around the culture, history and impact of social issues on Native Americans. This Caucus builds on the work of the Assembly’s Select Committee on Native American Affairs.