COVID Relief Efforts
Early this year my number one priority was to help small business recover from the financial devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike big-box retailers that were able to keep their doors open, small businesses were forced to shutter their doors and suffered as a consequence.
I was proud to work with Senate Leadership and the Governor this year to pass my bill, SB 87, the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.
Under this bill, over $2 billion was made available for qualifying small business and nonprofits to receive grants of up to $25,000 to help recover from financial losses brought on by the pandemic.
In addition to SB 87, the Legislature passed SB 91, which extended the eviction moratorium through June and provided $1.5 billion to help low-income tenants pay down their past due rent.
Again, I worked with my colleagues in the Assembly and we followed up with AB 832, which extended the eviction moratorium to September 30th, increases the reimbursement percentages for past due rent from 80% to 100%, and creates new protections for tenants to ensure landlords participate in the program prior to pursuing an unlawful detainer.
Additional Bills Signed by the Governor
SB 24 protects the privacy of domestic violence survivors by updating restraining order forms to ensure private information is not accidently disclosed to abusers.
SB 28, the Rural Broadband and DIVCA Reform Act is getting closer to the finish line. This bill will help eliminate the digital divide by promoting broadband network deployment and ensuring network providers are meeting their licensee obligations. This bill
SB 323 provides stability for water and sewer agencies by creating a 120 day statute of limitations regarding new rate changes.
SB 347 creates a new voluntarily tax check-off program to create funding to support urban forestry programs that assist with tree planting, care and maintenance in urban, rural, and disadvantaged communities.
SB 395 creates parity in the taxes assessed for traditional nicotine products like cigarettes by increasing the excise tax on vape products. Funds generated through these sales are earmarked specifically for health and prevention efforts to continue the work to protect our communities from unhealthy, addictive substances.
SB 409 is another bill I advanced this year largely related to the recent pandemic. This bill codifies the Governors executive action to provide greater flexibility for pharmacies to administer certain flu and COVID-19 tests. This is critical, especially for rural communities, who rely on community pharmacies for most of their healthcare needs.
SB 714 creates new opportunities within the California Democratic Party to allow for noncitizens to participate in local county central committees and gain more experience and knowledge of what it’s like to participate in our great Democracy.
District Budget Highlights
I’m also pleased to announce that the state budget includes $15 million to fund essential needs in five of the communities in the 12th Senate District.
As the state enters an important economic recovery period post pandemic, this infusion of resources for rural, agricultural communities will be an important investment.
The allocation of $15 will be distributed as follows:
- $2 Million for the City of Mendota for public safety regional support
- $2 Million for the City of Firebaugh for public safety regional support
- $2 Million for the City of San Joaquin for public safety regional support
- $4 Million for the City of Huron for an ambulance and facility
- $5 Million for the City of Gonzalez for a teen innovation center
SB 230 requires peace officers to receive additional training, resources, and guidelines to reduce the use of deadly force.
SB 317 restricts certain toxic chemicals from use in RVs, which will encourage the use of safe alternatives and protect our groundwater in these and the surrounding communities.
SB 527 saves agricultural landowners up to 75% property tax liability each year by incorporating cannabis and industrial hemp cultivators into the Williamson Act, allowing them to receive the same property tax assessment and relief as other agriculture sectors in the state.
SB 697 brings our state closer to healthcare equity in underserved areas by modernizing the day to day practice of Physician Assistants and allowing them to partner with physicians.
SB 726 expands the reusable household hazardous materials exchange programs and allows jurisdictions to more easily transport reusable household hazardous waste products to other sites that support these programs, including non-profits.
SB 744 makes it easier for California to build supportive housing for people who live with mental illness and are experiencing homelessness.