Coronavirus Updates

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Town Hall with EDD

June 03, 2020
 
WELCOME

Dear Friend,

My colleagues and I have been working very hard this month on legislative proposals to provide relief for families and small businesses disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to get children safely back to in-person learning. I have also officially introduced my legislative package for the year and am beginning to move those measures through the legislative process.

We are starting to see certain restrictions relaxed in some counties as our state begins to emerge from the winter surge of COVID-19 cases. As California continues to ramp up its vaccine rollout, I will continue to advocate for equitable distribution and increased outreach to hard-to-reach communities.

As always, if you have any questions about anything in this newsletter or need assistance with a state matter, please do not hesitate to reach out. My staff and I are here to help.

Stay safe,

Ben Hueso
State Senator
40th District

WELCOME
Events Calendar
2/1: National Freedom Day
2/2: Groundhog Day
2/5: National Wear Red Day
2/12: Lunar New Year
2/14: Valentine’s Day
2/15: President’s Day
2/19: Last day for bills to be introduced
For the complete legislative calendar, please visit: Legislative Calendar

 

IN THE KNOW ...

New $9.6 Billion Immediate COVID Economic Relief Package Signed Into Law

Governor Newsom has signed into law our stimulus package to provide immediate relief for families and businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 recession. The package offers $9.6 billion in assistance including:

  • Golden State Stimulus one-time $600 payments for working Californians earning less than $30,000 and targeted Californians left out of federal stimulus programs
  • Additional $2.1 billion in grants for small business and non-profits (up to $25,000)
  • $2 billion in tax cuts for small businesses
  • $50 million for cultural institutions
  • Fee waivers for small businesses in heavily-impacted service industries
  • CalWORKS eligibility expansion
  • Deploying $400 million in available federal childcare funds
  • $120 million to accelerate proposed financial aid for Community College students
  • $16 million for outreach and application assistance for income eligible higher education students recently made eligible for CalFresh
  • $35 million in immediate support to Food Banks and Diaper Banks
  • $24 million to support the Housing for the Harvest program

Families and businesses that have previously qualified for state programs and federal relief such as CalEITC, CalWORKs, CalFresh, state small business grants, and federal PPP business loans should visit the Governor’s website to learn more.

2021 Legislative Package

I am happy to share that my office has introduced a robust legislative package for 2021 that builds on continued efforts to advance equity and build a 21st century economy. The impacts of COVID-19 have been exacerbated by long-standing inequities, and I am committed to addressing these inequities through the introduction of legislative proposals that support some of California’s most underserved communities.

My legislative package includes measures aimed at bringing more attention and resources to the border region (SB 684), increasing access to educational opportunities for incarcerated individuals (SB 416), building racial and economic equity (SB 471), repurposing plastics to build roads (SB 580), increasing access to trauma kits in buildings in case of an emergency (SB 687), honoring our farmworkers by annually commemorating their contributions (SB 721), increasing work-force development opportunities (SB 604), increasing access to energy savings for low-income Californians (SB 756), and providing compassionate access to medical cannabis (SB 311).

IN THE SPOTLIGHT ...

Veteran of the Year 2020: Rudolph “Rudy” Villalobos
 

I am honored to recognize Calexico resident Rudolph “Rudy” Villalobos as 2020 Veteran of the Year for the 40th Senate District. Rudy is not only a highly-decorated veteran, but also a role model for all who meet him, and has contributed immensely to the prosperity of our nation through both his military and civilian service.

Rudy served in the US Air Force during World War II and was well-decorated for his service. He enlisted on Dec. 9, 1942, serving in the 8th Air Force, 96th Bomb Group, as a radio operator/gunner on a B-17 “Flying Fortress.” Rudy flew 32 missions during his career – 17 over France, 14 over Germany, and one over the Czech Republic. He was honorably discharged on Dec. 7, 1945.

After the war, Rudy worked for the US Department of Labor in Mexico, and then the US Justice Department as an Immigration Supervisor. He retired after 34 years in government service.

Rudy is 97 years old and lives in Calexico, CA with his wife of 69 years, Maria Teresa Villalobos. Together, they have 9 children, 29 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Learn more on my website.

Organization of the Month: Multicultural Health Foundation


                 Dr. Rodney Hood, President and Chairman

The Multicultural Health Foundation (MCHF) is working hard to bring health, justice and wellness to the multicultural communities of San Diego County. This community-based coalition of stakeholders was organized in 2020 to advocate and help implement policies and effective strategies to address the disproportionate negative impact of COVID-19 on under-served and vulnerable populations.

MCHF was founded and is led by African American physicians Dr. Rodney Hood, Dr. Robert Gillespie, and Dr. Suzanne Afflalo. The key to their success is strong trusted professional and personal relationships with an understanding of the health and socio-economic challenges experienced by the Black community.

MCHF’s COVID-19 Equity Task Force holds forums and monthly webinars and provides public updates on the current transmission, prevention, testing, tracing, and treatment information related to COVID-19. Their County of San Diego-funded program, Together Against COVID, emphasizes education and awareness through a variety of outreach methods, including media campaigns on billboards, broadcast media, social media, print and direct mail. They also work to reach populations who are at increased risk of COVID-19 using virtual sessions, faith-based video, audio messages, and a virtual speaker’s bureau.

Further, they work directly with community trusted messengers to connect the community with accurate information about COVID-19 prevention, testing sites, vaccines, and health resources.

This type of outreach is vital in communities like ours, and we are so appreciative of the tireless efforts of the MCHF team!

WHAT'S NEW ...

California Earned Income Tax Credit

Tax season is here, and this year more people will qualify for key federal and state earned income tax credits that put money back into the pockets of families.

The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) is a refundable state tax credit for low-income families who may also qualify for the Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC). The amount families receive varies based on income and number of qualifying dependents. This year, those who qualify for CalEITC will also receive an additional $600 on top of the existing credit, as a part of California’s Golden State Stimulus Program.

Find out if you qualify for the CalEITC and the YCTC.

Discounted Utility Rates through CARE Program

The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program provides low-income customers with a 30- to 35-percent discount on their electric bill and a 20-percent discount on their natural gas bill. Contact your utility to request an application. To learn more about the program, including eligibility guidelines, please visit: https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/lowincomerates/

Covered California Enrollment Still Open

If you still need health coverage for 2021, enrollment through Covered California is open due to COVID-19. Get started today at CoveredCA.com.


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