Governor Newsom signed two executive orders today. One executive order helps the state procure necessary medical supplies to fight COVID-19. The other executive order to provide additional support for older adults and vulnerable young children. The order will allow for a 60-day waiver for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program caseworkers to continue their work and be able to care for older adults, as well as individuals with disabilities.
Of importance for all of us especially during these challenging times, the Governor announced the State’s Surgeon General compiled guidance available on www.covid19.ca.gov for emotional support and well-being and stress playbooks.
There is movement at the federal level with specific proposed legislation to address population concerns and providing tax credits to governmental employers who provide paid sick leave and paid emergency family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Much more details are under the “Federal Updates” section for the National League of Cities, which I encourage you to read and take action.
Governor and Administration Updates
- Daily COVID-19 Facts from Department of Public Health
April 6, 2020)
In recent weeks Congress
has passed legislation that has directed funding to respond to the coronavirus
emergency. This post discusses how some of the major pieces of funding could
affect the state budget’s overall condition. In particular, we focus on how
funding could help the state address some of the sources of a budget problem
that could emerge as a result of the coronavirus emergency.
Federal UpdatesFEMA Daily Briefing Points
The CARES Act provides funds directly to units of local governments with a population that exceeds 500,000. This bill, the Coronavirus Community Relief Act, is a response to the perceived short comings of the CARES Act in providing funds to smaller communities.
Thank you for all of the feedback you have provided about the Coronavirus Relief Fund in the CARES Act. NLC took that feedback and worked closely with Representative Joe Nuguse’s office to shape the legislation. We encourage you to call on the members of Congress in your state to cosponsor the Coronavirus Community Relief Act. The more members sign on, the better chance it, or something similar to it, has of being adopted in a fourth relief package.
NLC is also working closely with House members Brad Schneider of Illinois, John Katko of New York, and T.J. Cox of California, on a bill to provide tax credits to governmental employers who provide paid sick leave and paid emergency family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Representatives Schneider, Katko, Cox will be introducing this bill later this week. Again, we encourage you to reach out to the House members from your state to ask them to support this soon-to-be introduced bill.
Last week, the Department of Labor released additional guidance on explaining paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave benefits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Among other things, this guidance broadens the definition of “emergency responder” to include “public works personnel” who may be excluded from paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave by their employer under the FFCRA, which will help small water systems, among other entities, who have just a few essential employees. NLC is constantly monitoring this issue and released a blog, hosted a webinar, and generated a FAQ on this subject.
The Department of Education has increased flexibility by removing the 15% cap on using certain funds for technology infrastructure, allowing school districts to spend more federal dollars on mobile hotspots and other equipment to get students connected outside of school. Updates are at https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus
While the Federal Communications Commission has declined to pause shot clocks or provide a blanket extension of comment periods, the agency has secured voluntary commitments for consumer protection from hundreds of ISPs through its Keep Americans Connected pledge and has increased flexibility for a host of subsidy programs to expedite assistance. Updates are at https://www.fcc.gov/coronavirus.
As of April 6, FEMA and HHS have provided or are currently shipping, 8,920 ventilators from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and the Defense Department to: Alaska (60), California (170), Connecticut (50), Florida (200), Georgia (150), Guam (30), Illinois (600), Louisiana (350), Maryland (120), Massachusetts (100), Michigan (700), New Jersey (1,350), New York (4,400), Oregon (140), and Washington (500).
- Governor Brown of Oregon sent the state’s 140 ventilators directly to New York; and,
- Governor Inslee of Washington is returning 400 of the state’s 500 ventilators to the SNS to be deployed to areas of greatest need.
- Governor Newsom of California is sending 500 state-owned ventilators to medical hotspots across the country through Emergency Management Assistance Compacts (EMAC).
- Additional allocations in process include a 250-bed Federal Medical Station and a Public Health strike team for Michigan; and a 250-bed Federal Medical Station for the Metro D.C. area.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will host a webinar on Wednesday, April 8 at 3 pm eastern. DOE is seeking cities to serve as pilots for three different building energy efficiency technologies (building automation, building insulation retrofit, thin triple pane windows). The purpose of the webinar is to describe the technologies and solicit local governments who might be interested in serving as a field validation location.
Finally, this evening, we have a blog about the funds that will be coming to local communities as a result of the CARES Act and how to keep it there.
Key Resource Websites
- League of California Cities COVID-19 Information
- State of California COVID-19 Information
- Sales Tax Guidance
- CalOES Daily Briefing Information
- Department of Public Health Dashboard
- Federal COVID-19 Information
- National League of Cities COVID-19 Resources Including Stimulus Legislation
- Volunteer Opportunities (California Volunteers)
- Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign (California Volunteers)
- California HealthCorps