Daily Headlines

Daily Headlines for June 16, 2021

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

Legislature Passes Budget, Clearing the Way for Real Budget Negotiations
The Legislature fulfilled its constitutional obligation this week by approving a state budget just ahead of the June 15 deadline. But meeting the formal requirement is merely an intermediate step in negotiations to finalize the comprehensive state spending authority.

COVID-19


Face-Covering Considerations for Retailers in a Post-Color Tiered California
California has issued new guidance for the use of face coverings that will take effect on June 15, 2021. The guidance impacts retailers and coincides with news that approximately 46% of Californians are now fully vaccinated. The National Law Review

California Marks Reopening with Jackpots, Hollywood Flair
At midnight, California lifted most of is pandemic restrictions, meaning no more state rules on physical distancing or capacity limits at restaurants, bars, supermarkets, gyms, museums, amusement parks, stadiums or anywhere else. Masks are no longer mandated for vaccinated people in most settings, though businesses and counties can still require them and other restrictions. The Associated Press

California College System Makes COVID Vaccines Mandatory for Students, Staff and Faculty
The University of California says COVID-19 vaccines will be mandatory for students, faculty and staff starting this fall semester. The Sacramento Bee

Public Affairs/ Politics


California Elections Chief: Recall Candidates Must Share Tax Returns
Recall candidates seeking to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom must furnish five years of tax returns, Secretary of State Shirley Weber said on Tuesday. Politico

Human Resources / Health & Safety


Soliciting Mail Ballots Is Objectionable Conduct, NLRB Rules
The solicitation of mail ballots constitutes objectionable conduct, the National Labor Relations Board ruled unanimously June 9 (Professional Transportation, Inc. and United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (U.E.), Local 1077. Case 32‒RC‒259368). HRDive

California Health Care Legislative Update
Not surprisingly, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, California legislators proposed hundreds of health-related bills in 2021. For those who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of the Golden State’s legislative process, June 5, 2021 was the deadline for the California Legislature to pass bills introduced in their house of origin. National Law Review

The Return to the Office Is Pushing Even More Women Out of Work
Companies are asking people back, but there’s less child care than ever. Moms are paying the price. Bloomberg

Economy


Will Travel and Tourism Return with California Reopening?
As California drops capacity and social distancing rules, experts are tempering expectations on a full rebound of the state’s tourism industry. Domestic travel won’t recover fully until 2023 and international visitors remain half of pre-pandemic levels. Still, state and local tourism officials express optimism. CalMatters

Builders Break Ground on More New Homes in May, But U.S. Housing Starts Disappoint Again
The numbers: Construction on new homes rose slightly in May, but high lumber prices and labor shortages have stymied builders and could leave many customers frustrated as the busy U.S. summer home-buying season gets underway. MarketWatch

The Big Thaw: As the U.S. Economy Heats Up, Consumers Respond — Cautiously
Conditioned by 14 months of sobering economic and health news, household financial impact, and workplace and schooling restrictions, consumers are responding with both optimism and wariness. KPMG in Boston Business Journal

Environmental/Agriculture


Drought Prompts State to Cut Off Water to Thousands of Farms, Water Agencies
Thousands of farms and water agencies that rely on flows from California’s vast delta watershed, including some in the Bay Area, are being told to stop drawing water from its rivers and creeks because there’s not enough to go around. San Francisco Chronicle

‘This Is How Dry Things Are.’ California Warns Farmers About Water Cutoffs Due to Drought
The seriousness of California’s drought is being driven home to thousands of farmers in the Central Valley. The Sacramento Bee

International


American Tourists Could Soon Be Allowed Freer Travel to Europe.
The European Union is expected to recommend lifting the ban on nonessential travel for visitors from the United States on Friday, opening for American tourists just in time for the summer season, which is crucial to the economy of many members of the bloc. The New York Times

Australia, Britain Reach Free Trade Deal to Cut Many Tariffs
Britain and Australia announced the broad outlines of a free trade deal Tuesday, eliminating tariffs on a wide range of goods as the U.K. seeks to expand links around the world following its exit from the European Union. The Associated Press

Infrastructure / Education


Californians May Be Asked to Conserve Power Amid Heat Wave
California residents may be asked to reduce electricity use this week to avert rolling blackouts amid a heat wave that threatens to strain the state’s power grid. The Associated Press

California, Battered by 2020, Girds for More Intense Wildfires
With 2020’s disasters in mind, the state is making elaborate plans to deal with an upcoming wildfire season made potentially more deadly by drought. Capitol Weekly

Global Power Grids Pushed to Breaking Point
Texas and California are at risk of blackouts as a sprawling heat wave smothers the western U.S. Cities across China’s industrial heartland are rationing electricity. European power prices are far higher than usual for this time of year. Droughts are drying up reservoirs from Brazil to Taiwan. Bloomberg

Opinion/Editorial


Labor-Backed Bill Would Devastate California Restaurant Industry
…In four steps, the bill, AB 257 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), changes this certainty, spelling disaster for restaurants, small businesses, and their employees. Jot Condie in Capitol Weekly

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