Daily Headlines

Daily Headlines for August 4, 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

All Californians Lose If Split Roll Tax Passes
The California Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of business and taxpayer groups are leading a strong effort to defeat the split roll property tax measure, Proposition 15 on the November ballot.


California’s COVID-19 Positive Test Rate Declines. Did Closing Bars and Malls Work?
After months of escalating COVID-19 rates, California is finally seeing some promising declines, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday. About 6 percent of coronavirus tests came back positive in the last week, down from an 8 percent peak, Newsom said. The number of COVID-19 patients in California hospitals declined 10 percent since mid-July. The Sacramento Bee

Judge Strikes Down Parts of DOL’s Emergency Paid Leave Regs
Among the struck-down DOL regulations are: the final rule’s work-availability requirement; its definition of “health care provider” for the purposes of excluding certain healthcare sector employees from emergency leave benefits; its requirement that an employee secure employer consent for intermittent FFCRA leave; and its requirement that documentation be provided by an employee before taking FFCRA leave. HRDive

Public Affairs/Politics

Who Killed the Bills? + Flavor Tobacco Ban Gets a Hearing + Teens and COVID Stress
Tuesday is a big day for the bill to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in the state. The Sacramento Bee

California to Let Absent Lawmakers Vote During Pandemic
The California Assembly changed its rules on Monday to let lawmakers at high risk for the coronavirus vote on bills without being present in the chamber, defying advice from the Legislature’s own lawyers who say the new rule is likely illegal. The Associated Press

Democrats Take Fundraising Lead in Orange County’s State Senate, Assembly Battles
Democrats are raising more money than Republicans in all but one of Orange County’s nine state Senate and Assembly races, according to the latest fundraising reports filed with the state. The Orange County Register

Absentee Ballot Versus Vote-by-Mail? A Guide to Election Terms
Though the terms vary from state-to-state, as do the laws, the terms “absentee voting,” “mail-in voting” and even “universal vote by mail” have different meanings than the ones Trump has assigned to them, causing some confusion about the November election. States are facing a sharp increase in requests for mail-in voting as the coronavirus leaves voters unwilling to wait in lines or crowded precincts to vote. Bloomberg

Human Resources / Health & Safety

COVID-19 and a New Hire’s Expired Identity Document
We just hired an employee who doesn’t have a current identity document. Her driver license expired on April 1, and she says that she hasn’t been able to renew it due to COVID-19. Can we hire her? HRWatchdog

1.13 Million Unemployed California Workers are in Trapped in EDD Payment Limbo
About 1.13 million unemployed California workers are stuck in EDD payment limbo, including 889,000 workers that the state Employment Development Department says it can’t pay “at this time,” even if they have been out of work for months amid coronavirus-linked business shutdowns. The Sacramento Bee


Some California Lawmakers Say a Millionaire Tax Could Help Pay for Pandemic Relief
In a statement on its website, the California Chamber of Commerce calls the proposal “startling” and suggests that it might encourage business owners to pack up and leave California for a lower-tax state, taking their jobs along with them. “During times of economic prosperity AB 1253 would be a job killer. During times of economic crisis, AB 1253 is catastrophic,” the statement reads. Los Angeles Magazine

California Lockdown’s Job Losses Spell Trouble for the Nation
California’s second round of coronavirus-related shutdowns, among the nation’s strictest measures, are already causing pain for the most populous state’s labor market and portend a deterioration in the overall U.S. employment picture for July. Bloomberg

PPP Loans Increased Small-Business Survivability by Up to 30%, Study Finds
Small businesses that took advantage of the Small Business Administration’s $659 billion Paycheck Protection Program loans increased their survival probability by 14% to 30%, according to a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Sacramento Business Journal

‘Tidal Wave’: States Fear Fiscal Disaster as Congress Slow-Walks Aid
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo couldn’t be farther apart in their views of how Congress should help states recover from the recession. But their states are among those with the most to lose if the situation gets much worse. Politico


Trump Signs $3B-A-Year Plan to Boost Conservation, Parks
President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed into law legislation that will devote nearly $3 billion annually to conservation projects, outdoor recreation and maintenance of national parks and other public lands. The measure was overwhelmingly approved by Congress. The Associated Press

A Rare Disease Is Killing Northern California Deer. Here’s What You Should Look Out For
A rare disease that can kill thousands of fawns in a single outbreak has been confirmed in Northern California, and wildlife officials are pleading with rural property owners to not feed deer or put out water for them. The Sacramento Bee


U.K. Revives No-Deal Brexit Truck Plan, Fearing Border Chaos
The U.K. plans to adopt its full no-deal Brexit border plan to avoid traffic chaos when it completes its split from the EU in 2021, even if the two sides sign a free-trade agreement. Bloomberg

U.K. Sanctions Guidance Adds to Warnings for Maritime Sector
A U.K. enforcement agency is urging the maritime industry to be on the lookout for illicit practices that could be used to evade sanctions, the latest regulator to warn about compliance risks facing the industry. The Wall Street Journal

EU-Vietnam Trade Agreement Enters Into Force
EU exports to Vietnam will be taxed less as of tomorrow, 1 August. This is the immediate effect of the entry into force of the EU-Vietnam trade agreement that will ultimately scrap duties on 99% of all goods traded between the two sides. European Commission

Infrastructure / Education

Census Will Rush to Complete Its Count by Sept. 30, a Month Earlier Than Planned
The Census Bureau is ending efforts to count the country’s population on Sept. 30 — a month sooner than planned — the bureau’s director announced Monday. Los Angeles Times

Sorry, Boomers: Millennials and Younger Are New US Majority
Sorry, boomers. Millennials and their younger siblings and children now make up a majority of the U.S. population. A new analysis by the Brookings Institution shows that 50.7% of U.S. residents were under age 40, as of July 2019. The Associated Press


California’s Proposed Retroactive Income-Tax Hike Could Be ‘The Final Straw’
A proposal now being considered by California lawmakers to raise the state’s top income tax rate from 13.3% to 16.8% — retroactive to the start of 2020 — is expected to spur heightened interest by wealthy residents in leaving California. Mark Calvey in Sacramento Business Journal

Taking a Closer Look at Rejected Mail Ballots in California’s March Primary
What’s the good news? The Legislature is striving to ensure that our state is a leader in safe, secure and accurate elections. County offices are improving their operations and outreach. And as a voter, you can help, too. For a full picture, visit the California Voter Foundation “Online Guide.” And make sure you are registered to vote. Garrett Jensen in CALmatters

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