Weideman COVID-19 Update
April 30, 2021
California Loses a Congressional Seat
For the first time in the state’s history, California will lose a congressional seat following the results of the 2020 census. California will join 6 other states that lose a seat until the next reapportionment following the 2030 census. The independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission is tasked with drawing new congressional maps in CA with one fewer district. The Commission will release its first draft of the new districts on August 15th.
Updated Mask Guidance
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released updated mask guidelines, including allowing vaccinated individuals to spend time in small groups outdoors without wearing a mask. The CDC still recommends that masks be used in large crowds. Governor Newsom released a statement on the updated federal recommendations and notes the state will align with the CDC’s masking recommendations. Full guidance from the CDC can be found here.
Newsom Recall Election a Go
Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber announced that enough signatures have been verified to trigger a recall election for Governor Newsom. There are a number of procedural steps that still need to occur before the Lieutenant Governor will select a date for the election. The election is expected to be held this fall. Polling conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California shows Newsom is currently well positioned to survive the recall. A newly released PPIC poll shows that 57% of likely voters and 64% of public school parents approve of how the Governor is handling the state’s public K-12 education system, and 59% of likely voters give him high marks for his approach to school reopenings. These are surprisingly good numbers for the Governor on an issue that will likely be a focus of recall supporters.
Small Business Relief
Governor Newsom signed AB 80 (Burke), a $6.2 billion tax cut for small businesses impacted by the pandemic. The bill conforms state law with federal law to exempt Paycheck Protection Program loans that businesses received during the pandemic from counting as taxable income and allows businesses to deduct the costs of expenses that those loans paid for.
Biden Addresses Congress
President Joe Biden delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress before his 100th day in office. In a historic moment, the President was flanked by two women, both from California. The President touted the progress his administration has made in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and passage of the American Rescue Plan. The President also laid out two major priorities - the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan. The President stressed that we are presented with a once in a century opportunity to build back better, highlighting the need to become a world leader in green technology and investing in infrastructure including installation of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina provided the Republican response to the President’s speech, where he called the American Jobs Plan a “liberal wishlist of big government waste.” Citing his own experience with racism growing up as an African American in the south, Scott said “race is not a political weapon to settle every issue like one side wants.”