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Almost Daily Briefing, March 26, 2020

Post Date:03/26/2020 10:41 AM

The Almost Daily Briefing

Published news articles from local, regional, and national media on topics of interest to the #LoveLafayette Community

COVID-19 UPDATE

This update was provided to the City of Lafayette by the League of California Cities. Read the latest coronavirus information and find resources for Lafayette residents and businesses on the City’s COVID-19 Webpage: http://bit.ly/LafayetteCoronavirusInfo.

  • There have been some ongoing questions about the guidance from the State about critical workers / essential services.  The guidance document continues to be updated (updates are represented in blue). 

      

    Governor Actions / Announcements

  • Governor Gavin Newsom Announces Major Financial Relief Package: 90-Day Mortgage Payment Relief During COVID-19 Crisis: The Governor announced that financial institutions will provide major financial relief for millions of Californians suffering financially as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Governor Newsom secured support from Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers to protect homeowners and consumers. Additional details are available in the linked press release.

     

    Other State Actions / Announcements

  • The Department of Finance Director Keely Bosler sent a letter to state lawmakers today that moves $1.3 billion emergency reserve fund dollars that was part of the State’s overall reserves to immediately combat COVID-19.  These funds will go to personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies, enhance the surge capacity of hospitals and medical facilities and procure other items necessary to support the State’s efforts to protect public health and safety and reduce the spread of COVID-19.  

     

  • Yesterday, the Legislative Analyst’s Office released COVID-19 Disaster Declarations and Funding Implications which discusses federal assistance available to local governments and the State as a result of the President’s emergency and major disaster declarations.  

Federal Actions

  • In the final bill, NLC secured major wins for cities, towns, and villages. The bill provides money for community development block grants. It provides a coronavirus fund for states, units of local government, and tribal governments, albeit with the 500,000 population threshold for local governments. The stabilization fund for cities and states had been a contentious issue, and at one point was pulled from a draft text of the bill. Through the work of you, our members, we were able to get a fund in a bill. The bill also provides relief to the municipal bond market by allowing purchase of municipal securities (with maturities greater than 6 months) in the secondary market. 

     

  • Certain items in the bill did not get fixed, despite the tremendous pressure NLC brought to bear on the Senate. Under public law 116-127 (HR 6201), the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, governmental employers are required to provide paid sick leave and paid emergency family leave. However, unlike most employers, governmental employers will not get the benefit of the tax credits for providing these benefits.   

AIRPORTS 

  • Federal Aviation Administration, Airport Improvement Program (AIP) – $10 billion to maintain operations at our nation's airports that are facing a record drop in passengers. AIP funds will be distributed by formula.  
  • Essential Air Service (EAS) – $56 million provided to maintain existing air service to rural communities. This funding is necessary to offset the reduction in overflight fees that help pay for the EAS program. 

TRANSIT 

  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Transit Infrastructure Grants – $25 billion for transit providers, including states and local governments across the country, for operating and capital expenses. Funding will be distributed using existing FTA formulas.  

    RAIL 

  • Amtrak – Provides $492 million in grants for the Northeast Corridor and $526 million in grants for the broader national network to cover revenue losses related to coronavirus. In addition, funding is provided to help states pay for their share of the cost of state supported routes.  

    TRANSPORTATION 

  • USDOT Administrative Support – $6 million for the Department of Transportation to cover increased administrative expenses as a result of the coronavirus.  

     

  • USDA: RURAL DEVELOPMENT – $145.5 million, RURAL BUSINESS COOPERATIVE SERVICE – $20.5 million 

HHS: Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – $900 million to help lower income households heat and cool their homes. 

EPA 

  • $770,000 for the Superfund program to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally for necessary expenses for cleaning and disinfecting equipment or facilities of, or for use by, the Environmental Protection Agency 

Commerce 

  • Economic Development Administration: $1,500,000,000 
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership: $50,000,000 
  • Legal Services Corporation: $50,000,000 

Small Business Administration 

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans: $562,000,000 

HUD 

  • Tenant-Based Rental Assistance: $1,250,000,000 
  • Project-Based Rental Assistance: $1,000,000,000 
  • Public Housing Operating Fund: $685,000,000 
  • Community Development Block Grants: $5,000,000,000 
  • Homeless Assistance Grants: $4,000,000,000 
  • Housing for the Elderly: $50,000,000 
  • Housing for Persons with Disabilities: $15,000,000 

Supporting Small Business  

 Broadband Connectivity 

  • $25,000,000 for U.S. Department of Agriculture Distance Learning, Telemedicine and Broadband Program 
  • $100,000,000 extension for U.S. Department of Agriculture ReConnect rural broadband competitive grant/loan program 
  • $200,000,000 for Federal Communications Commission telehealth pilot program 

Law Enforcement, Public Safety & Criminal Justice 

  • Resources for Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement: $850 million for the Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne-JAG) 
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons: $100 million  
  • Federal Law Enforcement: $55 million for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. Attorneys 
  • Federal Judiciary: $7.5 million for three accounts in the Judicial Branch. 
  • Family Violence Prevention Services: $45 million to support families during this uncertain time, and to prevent and respond to family and domestic violence, including offering shelter and supportive services to those who need it.   

Personal Protective Equipment 

  • Defense Production Act: $1 billion to allow the Department of Defense to invest in manufacturing capabilities that are key to increasing the production rate of personal protective equipment and medical equipment to meet the demand of healthcare workers all across the nation.   
  • Assistance to Firefighter Grants: $100 million for personal protective equipment for first responders.  
  • Personal Protective Equipment: $178 million for the Department of Homeland Security to ensure front line federal employees have personal protective equipment. 

Disaster Assistance 

  • Disaster Relief Fund: $45 billion to provide for the immediate needs of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments. Reimbursable activities may include medical response, personal protective equipment, National Guard deployment, coordination of logistics, safety measures, and community services nationwide. 
  • Emergency Management Performance Grants: $100 million for state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to support coordination, communications, and logistics. 
  • National Guard: $1.4 billion for deployments to sustain up to 20,000 members of the National Guard, under the direction of the governors of each state, for the next six months in order to support state and local response efforts. 
  • FEMA's Emergency Food and Shelter Program: $200 million 

Deadline Extensions 

  • REAL ID Deadline for States: Extends the deadline for states to meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act to not earlier than September 30, 2021.

 

LOCAL NEWS

State appeals court denies rehearing in Lafayette cabana lawsuit - “We are very pleased that the Court of Appeal has affirmed the city of Lafayette's trial court victory in this matter,” Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson said. (East Bay Times)

Contra Costa County positive cases climb past century mark - Twenty-two new cases of COVID-19 reported county-wide in a span of 24 hours. (East Bay Times)

Bay Area School Closures Extended Through May 1 – Seven Bay Area county health officers, in collaboration with their six county superintendents of schools have made a unified, regional decision to extend school closures and student dismissals from regular school attendance through May 1, 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. (East County Times)

First Responders Try To Stay Safe During COVID-19 Outbreak -NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to Steve Hill of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District in California about how emergency medical responders are staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic. (NPR)

WIC services in Contra Costa County to operate by phone during crisis - The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, better known as WIC, has suspended all in-person appointments until further notice. (East Bay Times)

National Guard Partners With Contra Costa County Food Bank -The California National Guard could soon pitch in to help feed Contra Costa County. (Patch)

East Bay Regional Parks Announces Closures and Parking Restrictions to Limit Overcrowding - The East Bay Regional Park District has announced park area closures to address overcrowding and public safety. Additionally, park picnic areas are closed, and all group gatherings prohibited. (East County Today)

Stores scramble to enforce senior shopping hours – Some senior shoppers are saying shopping hours set aside for them at grocery stores are not being enforced. (SF Chronicle)

7 ways you can help Bay Area doctors and nurses right now - From supplying coffee to sending virtual cards, here are some ways to support health care workers on the front lines of fighting COVID-19. (Fremont Argus)

Amid COVID-19 crisis, Hayward may delay recently passed minimum wage increases -Since the coronavirus outbreak took full force last week, Hayward Councilmember Mark Salinas said he's received numerous phone calls from small business owners in Hayward who are extremely worried about the dramatic loss in revenue due to the coronavirus, and specter of permanent closure of their local businesses. (East Bay Citizen)

 

OTHER NEWS

It’s not clear whether gun stores are considered essential businesses, and on Wednesday, Mr. Newsom said he’d defer to local sheriffs. (The New York Times)

California could lose 1.6M jobs by summer. Here's where unemployment will hit hardest -California could lose 1.6 million jobs by summer, taking the state from record-low unemployment to a dismal economic picture that could rival or exceed the Great Recession in a matter of weeks. (Sacramento Bee)

‘Deeply flawed and very risky:’ 2 fire victims resign key roles in PG&E bankruptcy -Two of the 11 people on the fire victims’ committee involved in PG&E Corp.’s bankruptcy proceedings have resigned their positions, a fresh sign of discord in the high-profile case that the company is trying to conclude in the coming months. (SF Chronicle)

 

LOCAL HAPPENINGS

Lafayette Chamber's List of Businesses Open in Lafayette During Stay Home Order

Lafayette Recreation's Virtual Community Center

Lafayette Planning & Building Department’s Virtual Planning Counter (1:00-3:00 p.m., Monday-Friday)

 

HOUSING, TRANSPORTATION AND CITY PLANNING

Bay Area's largest housing development appears dead -The redevelopment of the Concord Naval Weapons Station, the Bay Area’s largest proposed housing project, appears to be dead after the Concord City Council declined to extend an agreement with Lennar, the project’s master developer. In a 3-2 vote Tuesday night, the council rejected legislation that would have extended the current exclusive negotiating agreement with Lennar Concord LLC, which was set to expire at the end of March. The 5,000-acre redevelopment of the mothballed military base calls for 13,000 housing units, 8 million square feet of commercial space, 2,500 acres of open space and potentially a college campus. (SF Chronicle)

Plan for 182 homes along Oakland Estuary in Alameda cleared by planners -The proposal to build on the former Boatworks site now goes before Oakland City Council for approval. (East Bay Times)

Lockdowns slow Bay area home constructions, future projects -Shutdowns in local government offices have distanced city planners and inspectors from developers, making the already sometimes Byzantine development process more complicated. (Mercury News)

How we can redesign cities to fight future pandemics -Design firms will be looking at population density, city design, and creating public spaces that can be quickly altered to function as treatment or logistics centers. (Fast Company)

California construction workers prepare to mobilize for coronavirus surge response - The head of California’s powerful building and construction trades union says plans are in the works to deploy tens of thousands of construction workers to retool and refit hospitals, hotels and buildings the state needs as a surge response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Politico)

 

PENSION FUNDS

CalPERS Loses $69B In Biggest Market Losses Since Great Recession -The California State Teachers' Retirement System likely experienced similar losses, but the system doesn't publicly report its value as often as CalPERS. (Insurance News Net) 

Possible CalPERS Coronavirus Case Forces Investment Meeting Cancellation -The California Public Employees' Retirement System's (CalPERS) Investment Committee meeting scheduled for Monday was canceled. (Chief Investment Officer)

San Diego Governments Brace for Impacts of Economic Tumult on Pension Costs -Previously, the fund had been on track for 100 percent funding by 2036. (Voice of San Diego)

Cities sound alarm over coming financial hit from coronavirus -And they'll have to fork over more to recover losses in pension funds. (Woodland Daily Democrat)

 

CALIFORNIA MIXTAPE

California restaurants plead for insurance help during coronavirus closures

Virus Leads Many to Cast Aside Household Help

COVID-19: Not a Threat to California's Water Supply

School lessons on hold as California districts negotiate with teachers unions

California's city councils overhaul meetings under stay-at-home order

How Silicon Valley became California's epicenter of the coronavirus

SF City Attorney Moves to Shut Down Illegal Party Amid Shelter Order

The Cheesecake Factory Tells Landlords Across the Country It Won't Be Able to Pay Rent on April 1

PG&E resolves bankruptcy case by agreeing to Newsom's terms

Cannabis sales explode as Californians become homebound

Newsom orders all-mail special elections

California courts paralyzed by coronavirus, with justice hanging in balance

Hoping to escape coronavirus, city dwellers are fleeing to California's deserts and mountains

PG&E donating nearly 1 million masks to help hospital workers battle coronavirus

California is asking state workers to consider changing jobs in coronavirus outbreak

California beer, wine and weed companies get creative during coronavirus stay-at-home order

 

THAT OTHER LAFAYETTE

Economic impact “just as devastating” as the virus in Lafayette -“In many ways, the economic impacts of this public health emergency are just as devastating as the virus itself,” said Lafayette’s Mayor.

 

AND FINALLY…

With Live Sports Gone, Announcer Offers Play by Play of the Everyday -Nick Heath narrates his videos of people doing mundane things, like crossing the street, with the verve and dramatic flair of competitive sports.

__________________

 

The Almost Daily Briefing (ADB) is an aggregation of links to news articles from local and regional newspapers, magazines, websites, and other news sources. Its purpose is to alert readers to current issues and affairs that may impact Lafayette. The ADB does not promote, favor, disfavor, support, reject, or endorse any position, candidate, campaign, or proposition, and nothing about the ADB, including the selection, presentation, arrangement, or content of the links presented should be construed as an advocacy position. Please note: At times, the ADB features articles from sites that limit access for nonsubscribers. If you have questions about the ADB, please contact the City of Lafayette's Communications Analyst, Jeff Heyman, at jheyman@ci.lafayette.ca.us. You can subscribe to the ADB and learn more about Lafayette’s publications and social media sites here.

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