JEDE COVID-19 Update for April 27, 2020

MAJOR COVID-19 ACTIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • The Western Pact Expands:  Governor Newson announced that Colorado and Nevada will be joining California, Oregon and Washington in the Western States Pact – a working group of Western state governors with a shared vision for modifying stay at home orders and fighting COVID-19.  https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/04/27/colorado-nevada-join-california-oregon-washington-in-western-states-pact/

  • Payment Protection Program:  With the passage of HR 266 - The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, lenders and fintech companies participating in the Paycheck Protection Program are again accepting loan applications.

  • IRS Will Tell You When Your Check Will Arrive:  The Internal Revenue Service today announced significant enhancements to the “Get My Payment” tool to deliver an improved and smoother experience for Americans eligible to receive Economic Impact Payments.  Among other information, the enhanced website will show taxpayers the scheduled delivery date by direct deposit or mail and the last four digits of the bank account being used if the IRS has direct deposit information.  https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-enhances-get-my-payment-online-application-to-help-taxpayers

  • Workers’ Comp Coalition Letter:  A coalition letter with 30+ signatories was sent to the Governor and leadership of the Legislature raising concerns and offering public comment to proposed changes to California’s Workers’ Compensation program.  Among the signatories are business and local government leaders, including, but not limited to, the California Chamber of Commerce, League of California Cities, Urban Counties of California, the Rural Counties of California, the Special Districts Associations, NFIB, and the California Manufacturers & Technology Association.  (letter attached)

  • Expansion of Municipal Liquidity Facility:  The Federal Reserve Board announced an expansion of the scope and duration of the Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF). The facility will offer up to $500 billion in lending to states and municipalities to help manage cash flow stresses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.  The expanded facility authority will allow for the purchase of up to $500 billion of short-term notes issued by U.S. states (including the District of Columbia), U.S. counties with a population of at least 500,000 residents, and U.S. cities with a population of at least 250,000 residents. The new population thresholds allow substantially more entities to borrow directly from the MLF than the initial plan announced on April 9. The facility continues to provide for states, cities, and counties to use the proceeds of notes purchased by the MLF to purchase similar notes issued by, or otherwise to assist, other political subdivisions and governmental entities.  https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/monetary20200427a.htm

ECONOMIC RECOVERY

  • Assembly Budget Subcommittee Hearing:  The Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness held a hearing on economic recovery in the time of the coronavirus on Monday, April 27, 2020.  Among other issues, Assemblymembers identified a number of challenges small businesses will face when re-opening in the post-COVID-19 economy.  To address these challenges, Assemblymembers recommended: increasing the financial scale of the state’s small business loan guarantee program; placing a moratorium on new regulations that do not relate to COVID-19 or the immediate health and safety of Californians; implementing a specific strategy to support re-opening businesses’ access to PPE; placing AB 5 enforcement actions on hold; and exempting businesses from paying off the state’s Unemployment Insurance Fund loan with the federal government.  Another cross cutting issue was the need to identify and address gaps in federal and state programs that were intended to meet the needs of workers and businesses.

COVID-19 PROGRAM AND SERVICE UPDATES

  • Tracking COVID-19:  The state launched a new, user-friendly data portal at update.covid19.ca.gov that tracks COVID-19 cases statewide and by county, gender, age, and ethnicity. The portal also outlines statewide hospitalizations and testing efforts. The data presented on the portal will be updated daily and will include additional information as it is available.  www.update.covid19.ca.gov

  • Health Care Provider Reimbursements:  The CARES Act authorizes $100 billion to be distributed to healthcare providers, including hospitals.  Allocation of the funds is intended to address economic impact on providers incurring additional expenses caring for COVID-19 patients.  https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/04/22/hhs-announces-additional-allocations-of-cares-act-provider-relief-fund.html  

    • $50 billion of the Provider Relief Fund is allocated for general distribution to Medicare facilities and providers impacted by COVID-19, based on eligible providers' 2018 net patient revenue.  As a condition to receiving these funds, providers must agree not to seek collection of out-of-pocket payments from a COVID-19 patient that are greater than what the patient would have otherwise been required to pay if the care had been provided by an in-network provider.

    • $10 billion for high COVID-19 impact areas.  Hospitals need to apply for these funds.

    • $10 billion for rural health clinics and hospitals. This money will be distributed as early as next week on the basis of operating expenses.

    • $400 million will be allocated for Indian Health Service facilities, distributed on the basis of operating expenses.

  • UC Online High School:  The University of California (UC) announced that enrollment in its online high school courses, UC Scout, have doubled since schools have been closed due to the coronavirus emergency.  The UC has been operating its online high school classes to ensure all California students could take the classes necessary to meet the UC and CSU A-G requirements.  UC Scout also offers 26 Advanced Placement classes. 

  • Corporate Aid Tracker:  The US Chamber of Commerce is maintaining an online tool to report and track donations, grants, volunteer hours, and programs offered by national corporations during the coronavirus emergency.  https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/aid-event/corporate-aid-tracker-covid-19-business-action

GRANTS

  • Federal Money for K-12:  The US Department of Education announced the availability of $13.2 billion in CARES Act funding to state and local education agencies to support continued learning for K-12 students. Funds can be used to provide tools and resources for distance education, support student health and safety, and develop and implement plans for the next school year. According to the announcement, the department intends to process submitted forms within three business days of receipt.  https://oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/elementary-secondary-school-emergency-relief-fund/

  • Sempra Energy Foundation:  Grants of up to $50,000 are available to California, Texas, and Louisiana nonprofit organizations serving people and families in eligible regions that have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Funding is intended for the health, education, welfare, and social services needs of individuals and families significantly affected by the virus. Organizations must provide services in the areas of the U.S. where Sempra Energy and its family of companies operate.  Pandemic-related activities may include:  support for an increase in the volume of services; support for unexpected expenses associated with fulfilling these services; and support to help sustain basic operations and services.  https://www.sempraenergyfoundation.org/pages/areas-of-giving/health-and-safety.shtml 

    • Deadline: Ongoing

    • Amount: $500 to $50,000

    • Eligibility: Nonprofits in California, Texas or Louisiana where Sempra operates

 

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