California Governor Announces Closure of Indoor Dining, Bars and Other Services, Effective Immediately
During today’s press conference on the state’s response to COVID-19, Governor Newsom announced that due to increasing cases of COVID-19 infection and the increase in hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions around the state, effective today (7/13/20) all counties must close indoor activities including dine-in restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment centers (bowling alleys, batting cages, etc.), zoos, museums and cardrooms. Furthermore, across the state all bars, breweries and pubs must close both indoor and outdoor services.
The Governor also announced counties that have been on the state’s “County Monitoring List” for three consecutive days will be required to immediately shut down all indoor activity of these sectors: fitness centers, worship services, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services (nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors), hair salons and shopping malls. Businesses and services in these sectors may continue to stay open if modifications are made for operating outside or by pick-up. The counties impacted by these further restrictions make up 80% of the state’s population and include: Colusa, Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tulare, Yolo, Yuba and Ventura.
For more information on the monitoring status of your county, click here.
State Legislature Postpones Return Among COVID-19 Outbreak
When the California legislature adjourned for Summer Recess just before Independence Day, lawmakers planned to return to session today. But with two lawmakers and a handful of staffers at the Capitol testing positive for the coronavirus, the legislature is delaying its return two weeks until Monday, July 27.
Last Monday, Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D-Marina Del Rey) announced that she had tested positive for the coronavirus two days earlier. Then on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) announced that he had been hospitalized with COVID-19 since Sunday, July 5.
It is believed that the virus spread on June 26, when the Assembly met in person to vote on the state budget.
The delay comes as the legislature was already rushing through a pandemic-shortened legislative session. The legislature shut down on March 16 as the state began to roll out shelter-at-home policies, with the Assembly not returning until May 4 and the Senate returning one week later. The legislature must conclude its lawmaking before a Constitutional deadline of August 31.
CCA, NCBA Lobby Congress for Additional COVID-19 Relief
Late last month, CCA and national affiliate the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)—along with 33 other livestock associations—submitted a letter to Congress regarding priorities the beef industry would like to see incorporated in possible “Phase 4” COVID-19 legislation. The Senate and House of Representatives are likely to tackle another phase of COVID-19 relief legislation upon their return from recess beginning July 20.
Of primary concern to many cattle ranchers, the letter encourages Congress to improve USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Currently, “Part 2” of CFAP only provides ranchers $33/head for cattle owned after the April 15. Noting the arbitrary nature of this cutoff date and the significant market impacts to America’s cattlemen, the letter asks that USDA “be provided the guidance and additional resources necessary to address” those market impacts.
Other priorities highlighted in the letter include increasing processing capacity at packing plants and making greater acreage available for emergency haying and grazing under the Farm Service Agency’s Conservation Reserve Program.
“The assistance provided to rural America through the CARES Act represented a critical step toward ensuring U.S. cattle producers remain operationally viable in the short-term during the height of COVID-19,” said NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane. “However, as our nation collectively works to rebound from this pandemic, we have a clearer understanding of the challenges that remain for our industry, as well as the long-term solutions needed to facilitate a robust recovery. While CFAP was a good start, these cattle assistance payments can be improved upon and tailored to provide additional support to those in our industry who have been especially affected by market disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, further measures such as emergency haying and grazing under the Conservation Reserve Program, a fed-cattle set aside pilot program, and the waiving of overtime fees for Federal Meat Inspectors can be utilized by Congress to ensure the beef supply chain is stronger moving forward.”
PPP Application Deadline Extended Through August 8
On July 4, President Trump signed S. 4116, a bill extending the application deadline for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through August 8. PPP had initially expired at the end of June, but $130 billion remained in the fund at that time.
More information from CCA regarding SBA’s PPP is available on CCA’s COVID-19 webpage, here.