Daily Headlines

Daily Headlines for September 25, 2020

We scan major news sources* and compile selected articles to keep you up-to-date on current issues affecting California business – the economy, health care, environment, transportation and more.

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Today’s Top Story

The Workplace Podcast: New Law Creates Supplemental Sick Leave
In this episode of The Workplace podcast, CalChamber Executive Vice President and General Counsel Erika Frank and employment law expert Jennifer Shaw discuss AB 1867, which establishes COVID-19-related supplemental paid sick leave for some employees and took effect on September 19, 2020.

COVID-19


California Enacts New COVID-19 Notice, Reporting Requirements
On September 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 685, a new law establishing stringent COVID-19-related notice and reporting requirements for public and private employers. It also boosts the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) COVID-19 enforcement authority. The new law takes effect January 1, 2021, but employers should quickly become aware of its complicated requirements in order to ensure compliance in January. HRWatchdog

California’s Deadliest Spring in 20 Years Suggests COVID Undercount
And the grim milestone encompasses thousands of “excess” deaths not accounted for in the state’s official COVID death tally: a loss of life concentrated among Blacks, Asians and Latinos, afflicting people who experts say likely didn’t get preventive medical care amid the far-reaching shutdowns or who were wrongly excluded from the coronavirus death count. Capital Public Radio

Public Affairs/ Politics


Republicans Prep Lightning-Quick Supreme Court Confirmation
The Senate is taking America for one last turbulent ride before the election. President Donald Trump’s Saturday announcement of his Supreme Court pick will spark a lightning-quick confirmation attempt by Senate Republicans that now seems almost certain to occur before the election. Politico

Human Resources / Health & Safety


What You Should Know About the Calsavers Retirement Program
…We’re approaching an important deadline for employers that don’t sponsor a retirement plan: Those with more than 100 employees must register with CalSavers by Sept. 30. Here’s what employers and workers should know about the program… Los Angeles Times

Economy


New Jobless Claims Stay Steady as California Faces Unemployment ‘Reset’
The U.S. economy continued losing jobs at a steady and massive pace last week. Another 870,000 Americans sought new unemployment benefits last week, as the pandemic’s economic impacts continued to spread pain. San Francisco Chronicle

U.S. Business Spending Digging Out Of Deep Hole; Outlook Uncertain
New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods increased more than expected in August and shipments raced to their highest level in nearly six years, suggesting a rebound in business spending on equipment was underway after a prolonged slump. Reuters

Housing Boom in U.S. Threatened by Shortage of Available Homes
The U.S. housing market, which has been a bright spot in the pandemic-battered economy, is running out of fuel. Bloomberg

Environmental/Agriculture

Gov. Newsom Told This California Town They’d Get Safe Drinking Water. It’s Been a Year
In July 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom met with her when he toured her hometown of Tombstone Territory, a rural community east of Fresno. Residents there were among the million Californians who didn’t have drinkable water at the time. The Sacramento Bee

‘If You Think It’s Bad Now, Just Wait’: California Faces New Fire Threats, Further Straining Resources
California has already endured its worst fire year in recorded history, but with more heat and wind in the forecast, officials say conditions could get even worse as the state enters the peak of its traditional burning season. Los Angeles Times

International


Brexit Trade Deal: So Near and Yet So Far
…EU leaders believe the prime minister’s domestic difficulties with Covid-19, plus dissatisfaction with his leadership amongst a number of his own MPs, make it more likely that Boris Johnson will seek an agreement with Brussels on a trade deal, rather than attempt to sell a no-deal scenario as a win, come the year’s end. BBC

Infrastructure / Education


California Wants Cars to Run on Electricity. It’s Going to Need a Much Bigger Grid
The state has recently struggled with rolling blackouts due to tight power supplies. Going all electric in 15 years will dramatically increase electricity demand. The Wall Street Journal

Judge Says 2020 Census Must Continue for Another Month
A federal judge has stopped the 2020 census from finishing at month’s end and suspended a year-end deadline for delivering the numbers needed to decide how many seats each state gets in Congress. The Associated Press

Cal State Chooses First Mexican American Chancellor
The next head of the California State University system — with 480,000 students, largest public four-year university in the U.S. — will be the first California native and the first Mexican American chancellor to oversee it. CalMatters

Opinion/Editorial


Governor Newsom Issues Order Setting Goal of Phasing Out Combustion Engine Vehicles by 2035
The nature of passenger vehicle travel and any commercial trucks driving across the state or country begs a central question: If California goes it alone, how will Californians and California goods move across the country, and do so without further damaging our fragile economy? Charging infrastructure is still sporadic in some parts of our state and will remain that way for quite some time. How will interstate commerce be conducted if a business must to switch out a truck when you run out of charging stations or cross state lines? Leah Silverthorn in Capitol Insider

Is Newsom Serious About Banning Gas-Powered Cars?
“Unless California, along with other states and countries, supports a market for ZEVs that ensures vehicle performance, range, safety, functionality, price, and choice for automobile consumers, then California residents alone will be left with higher energy and transportation costs without a material effect on global (greenhouse gas) emissions,” the California Chamber of Commerce said. “Forcing this transition through a mandate will burden the consumers least able to afford it, either by pricing them out of the new vehicle market or increasing the cost to maintain and fuel a used vehicle with a combustion engine. Dan Walters in CalMatters

 

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The Workplace a Podcast by CalChamber