California Governor Gavin Newsom rolled-back orders of opening counties across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic due to a sharp rise in cases.
Effective July 13, 2020, ALL counties must close indoor operations in these sectors:
- Dine-in restaurants
- Wineries and tasting rooms
- Movie theaters
- Family entertainment centers (for example: bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages and arcades)
- Zoos and museums
Additionally, bars, brewpubs, breweries, and pubs must close all operations both indoor and outdoor statewide, unless they are offering sit-down, outdoor dine-in meals. Alcohol can only be sold in the same transaction as a meal.
Counties that have remained on the County Monitoring List for 3 consecutive days will be required to shut down the following industries or activities unless they can be modified to operate outside or by pick-up.
- Fitness centers
- Worship services
- Offices for non-essential sectors
- Personal care services, like nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors
- Hair salons and barbershops
CLICK HERE for more information or to check the status of a county.
Aaron Read and Randy Perry
Aaron Read & Associates, LLC
As many of you know, the Legislature adjourned on March 15 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Both Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon have proposed May 4 as a potential date to reconvene; however, that date is still to be determined as new information about the virus continues to be brought to light.
With that said, our legislative leaders have put in a request to their committee chairs asking them to limit their legislative packages to critical bills and issues surrounding COVID-19. Pro Tem Atkins shared in a recent press release that, personally, she would only be moving forward with two bills this year. All other efforts will be geared toward helping businesses, school districts and local governments find solutions to the more immediate problems brought forth by COVID-19.
At this point, we are not sure what to expect with our priority bills; however, PORAC and Aaron Read & Associates (ARA) are steadfast in continuing to track the nearly 200 bills that could potentially impact our membership. We are receiving new updates daily, so by the time you read this article, we will likely have a better understanding of how our state plans to move forward.
For more information on PORAC’s highest legislative priorities, please see the bill chart on page 37 or online at https://bit.ly/2XxR7mA.
PORAC Virtual Town Hall Meetings
On March 25 and 26, PORAC virtually hosted four regional COVID-19 town hall meetings. ARA worked with PORAC, as well as PORAC’s federal advocates, Steptoe & Johnson, to invite and encourage our California federal and state elected officials from each region to participate. PORAC’s town halls proved to be successful, as many elected leaders and staff attended and shared their support for our members. Many legislators reached out individually after the meetings to ask what they could do to assist PORAC in our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and security of our officers and their families, knowing full well the great risk you all are taking every day on the front lines of this pandemic. PORAC is encouraged by the vast support of many of our federal and state leaders and plans to continue holding town hall meetings to educate and inform our elected officials of PORAC’s needs and concerns as our officers bravely respond to COVID-19.
PORAC’s Requests to Policymakers
PORAC has worked diligently to draft legislation that establishes COVID-19 as a presumptive occupational illness to be covered under workers’ compensation. Because of the uncertainty around when the Legislature will return, and because it takes months to get legislation passed, we are also pursuing an executive order from the governor. As we write this report, it is too soon to predict how this will turn out, but it’s imperative that we push to get appropriate relief for our officers who have or will come into contact with the virus.
In addition to the workers’ comp presumption, PORAC has also asked the governor to assist in requesting the federal government to increase the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). PORAC has also asked for expedited testing and testing sites for all first responders who have been exposed to COVID-19, as well as to make quarantine space (i.e., local hotels, CSU or UC campus dorms and other facilities) available to officers who have been infected so as not to infect their co-workers and families. Furthermore, we encouraged our governor to address and put forth a list of best practice protocols for first responder agencies with mandatory minimum responses when it comes to PPE and quarantines offsite when an exposure has occurred.
As the largest law enforcement organization in the country, PORAC stands united as we meet the challenges presented by COVID-19.
The current budget is being severely impacted, and tax revenues, apart from capital gains taxes, have been severely reduced. Some estimates say there will be $7–$9 billion less in capital gains taxes this year. That’s not to mention lower personal income taxes from those who are at the top 1%, and for the tens of thousands of workers who have been laid off. We don’t know when this will end, nor do we know the full fiscal impact — and we likely won’t know for a few months. Pro Tem Atkins has established a special Senate Budget Subcommittee that will meet regularly to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Speaker Rendon announced a similar hearing for the Assembly to be held on April 20.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
The United States is facing an unprecedented crisis, and first responders are on the front lines. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the country, Congress and the Trump administration have taken drastic action to provide relief. On March 27, President Trump signed into law the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a massive $2 trillion package designed to both combat the virus and stimulate the economy by providing immediate assistance to hospitals, states, municipalities, small businesses and individuals.
Among the relief funding included in the CARES Act was $850 million for the Department of Justice’s Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program. This fund sets aside money for states, local governments and tribes to respond to COVID-19. The funds, which are available to all government entities that were eligible for Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants in fiscal year 2019, can be used by law enforcement agencies for providing overtime, law enforcement and medical personal protective equipment (PPE), hiring, supplies (such as gloves, masks and sanitizer), training, travel expenses and medical care for inmates in detention centers.
At the time this issue went to print, and as the medical and economic crisis worsens, it is likely that Congress and the Trump administration will work toward additional relief measures. In particular, both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have expressed their desire for $150 billion in additional funding for state and local governments. PORAC is actively engaging with Congress to ensure that this funding is made available to law enforcement agencies, as well as to ensure that municipalities taking any eventual funding are unable to lay off public safety officers.
PORAC Responds to the COVID-19 Crisis
PORAC has been heavily engaged with federal policymakers to ensure that public safety officers across California are receiving the aid and resources they need to serve our communities during this crisis. During the week of March 23, PORAC held a series of tele-town halls for each of PORAC’s four regions. In each town hall, PORAC members were joined by dozens of state and federal lawmakers. Members shared their needs and experiences of law enforcement on the ground in California. In turn, lawmakers asked questions and were able to provide their own updates on the progress of the federal response. During one town hall, Representative Norma Torres even announced that she had several sources of PPE that she could provide to law enforcement agencies in her district. Within days, Representative Torres had done so. These town halls have provided a basis for increased coordination between PORAC and lawmakers.
In addition to the greatly successful PORAC tele-town halls, PORAC has sent letters to congressional leadership, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia and President Trump stressing the need for attention to the needs of law enforcement officers. In addition, PORAC stressed the need for COVID-19 to be established as a presumptive occupational illness, which would ensure coverage and benefits for law enforcement officers that contract the virus on the job. These letters to the president and to the secretary of Labor are republished here. PORAC continues to work on these important issues with our congressional allies and will do so for the duration of this crisis.
The dates, current as of Thursday, April 13, should be considered tentative since most counties issued them with the caveat that the orders could be extended, amended or rescinded. Check county health department web sites for the most current information.
“We want to make sure every child in the San Diego Co School District can attend their virtual classes to take part in distant learning!”