Wishing everyone a very happy new year! 2021 has brought a plethora of changes and I have many updates to share with you this month.Problems viewing this E-mail? Please click here.
Senator Ben Hueso


Dear Friend,

Wishing everyone a very happy new year! 2021 has brought a plethora of changes and I have many updates to share with you this month.

I am thrilled to be back in Sacramento fighting for the values of the 40th Senate District. This legislative session will likely be the toughest yet, as we tackle not only the immediate effects of COVID-19, but also the underlying inequities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. I look forward to working with my colleagues, the governor and, most importantly, my constituents, to chart our state on a path toward recovery.

You have probably heard that California's broad stay-at-home order imposed late last year has been lifted and the state has reverted to the county-based tier system. San Diego and Imperial counties both remain in the most-restrictive purple tier. Please do not take this announcement to mean that we are out of the woods; COVID-19 cases and deaths are still extremely high. It is critical that we all continue to follow public health guidelines to keep this downward trend going.

As always, if you have any questions or need assistance with a state matter, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Stay safe,


Ben Hueso
State Senator
40th District

Events Calendar
1/1: New Year's Day; Statutes take effect
1/10: Budget must be submitted by Governor
1/11: Legislature reconvenes
1/18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
1/20: Inauguration Day
1/22: Last day to submit bill requests to the Office of Legislative Counsel
For the complete legislative calendar, please visit: Legislative Calendar



Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grants

The Legislature and Governor recently announced the $500 million California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, which provides relief grants of $5,000-$25,000 for eligible small businesses and nonprofits. These funds do not need to be repaid and can be used to cover a wide range of expenses incurred as a result of the pandemic.

The second round of grants begins on February 2, 2021. Applying is quick and easy - applicants only need a few key documents about their business. Those who submitted applications and all necessary documents in the first round do not need to reapply; those applications are rolled over into the next funding round for consideration. The deadline to apply is February 8th, 2021 at 6:00pm PST.

More info at www.CAReliefGrant.com

2021-22 State Budget Process

This month, Governor Newsom submitted his formal state budget proposal to the Legislature, an important milestone in our annual budget process. The proposal provides funding for immediate COVID-19 response and relief efforts, while also making necessary investments for an inclusive and equitable economic recovery.

I commend the Governor for putting forth a responsible proposal for the Legislature to build upon. My colleagues and I will continue working to craft a budget for our June 15 deadline that is not only responsible, but also improves the lives of Californians. Additionally, we are committed to enacting early budget action to address the pressing needs caused by the pandemic, including renter and mom-and-pop landlord protections, safe school re-openings, and small business assistance and economic recovery.

In one of many actions to come, we have passed, and the Governor has signed, legislation extending the eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021. Through this action, we will also deploy California's share of the latest federal stimulus relief to tenants and landlords through a statewide model, ensuring that $2.6 billion in renter aid is administered quickly and equitably to those most in need.

Even before the pandemic, far too many Californians struggled to keep their homes. This action by the Legislature and Governor is a vital step in the right direction to keep roofs over families' heads and prevent further evictions in our state.

California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC)

This tax season, I want to make sure you know about tax credits that could help put more money in your pocket. The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), California Young Child Tax Credit, federal EITC and federal Child Tax Credit may reduce the amount of taxes you owe or increase your refund. Importantly, persons or families who file with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) are now eligible for the CalEITC.

This year has been very tough and, more than ever, every dollar counts. I support these credits because I know that it makes a difference for you and your family.

To see if you qualify for these credits or other benefits, and to find free tax prep help near you, go to CalEITC4me.org.

Update on California's Vaccine Distribution Plan

To speed up vaccination efforts in the state, Governor Newsom's Administration has announced changes to the state's phased distribution plan. Vaccinations were initially limited to healthcare workers and long-term care residents (Phase 1A), who face the highest risks associated with COVID-19. The state has now also expanded eligibility to those in Phase 1B Tier 1, depending on local supply. Phase 1B Tier 1 has been revised to include individuals 65 and older, as well as those at risk of exposure at work in the education and childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture sectors.

Again, counties are moving through these phases and tiers at different speeds depending upon supply and demand locally.

Comprehensive information about the state's "Vaccinate All 58" phased distribution plan can be found at: covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/


Citizen of the Month: Monte Jones

If you don't already know him, Monte Jones is a pillar of our 40th Senate District community. He has led Logan Heights Community Development Corporation (CDC) since 2006. The Logan Heights CDC works to support and strengthen businesses and residents in the Logan Heights neighborhoods through community empowerment, education, economic growth, and housing development. As CEO, Monte is an inspirational leader with a unique ability to turn vision into reality through sound strategy development. He has also been an incredible asset to our San Diego Promise Zone, helping to bring economic development and affordable housing programs and services to our community.

Prior to joining Logan Heights CDC, Monte had an impressive 22-year career with the US Navy. He was decorated numerous times during his career, including receiving the Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Good Conduct Medal, and National Defense Service Medal.

Monte has also held numerous leadership positions on local boards and commissions, including the Encanto Planning Group, the board of directors at Richard's Place, City of San Diego Citizens Equal Opportunity Commission, Chollas Valley Planning Group, and Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, San Diego Chapter.

Organization of the Month: Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities has been an invaluable resource for our community throughout the years, and is especially deserving of recognition for their incredible efforts to assist our communities during the numerous emergencies of 2020, as well as helping them to prepare for future ones.

Catholic Charities was chosen as the administrator for San Diego and Imperial Counties' local "Listos California" campaigns. "Listos California" is an effort designed by the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services to ready our most-vulnerable populations for disasters such as wildfires, earthquakes, floods, and public health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, before disasters strike. While this is an important cause in any year, it proved especially timely and helpful given the pandemic.

As part of the campaign, Catholic Charities team members worked to reach members of our community through presentations and classes, community events, newspaper and door-to-door outreach, food distributions, and social media. Their helpful guides gave easy step-by-step instructions for preparing our families and staying connected, including critical information about COVID-19 protections and precautions.

I was proud to partner with them to help spread the word and to see firsthand how much our community benefited from their efforts. The campaign will certainly have lasting impacts, as well, by equipping families with the knowledge necessary to prepare for future emergencies.


Need Cash for College?

Do you need Cash for College? It's not too late. Complete the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) now! Join the California Student Aid Commission for an upcoming Cash for College Webinar. Learn about the FAFSA and CADAA application and get your questions answered via the Cash for College hotline.

  • Saturday, January 30, 2021 - 10:00am-12:30pm
  • Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 5:30pm-8:00pm
  • Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 5:30pm- 8:00pm
  • Monday, February 22, 2021 (Bilingual/Spanish) - 5:30pm - 8:00pm

Link for Students to Register for Webinars: https://bit.ly/38AgyrT

Website: https://www.csac.ca.gov/cash-college

State Assistance with Energy Bills

Behind on your energy bills? The State of California may be able to help. Visit csd.ca.gov/energybills to see if you qualify for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

California's Arts Grant Season Underway

Creating a better tomorrow means being here for the arts today! The California Arts Council grant season is underway, prioritizing relief & recovery for California's creative workforce and individual artists impacted by COVID-19. Learn more about this year's state arts funding opportunities at http://tiny.cc/ArtsGrantSeason.

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California State Senator Ben Hueso - 40th Senate District
Representing portions of San Diego County and all of Imperial County.
Web site: http://sd40.senate.ca.gov/
Contact: Senator Ben Hueso
Capitol Office
State Capitol, Room 4035
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4040
Fax: (916) 651-4940
Chula Vista Office
303 H Street., Suite 200
Chula Vista, CA 91910
Phone: (619) 409-7690
Fax: (619) 409-7688
El Centro
1224 State Street, Suite D
El Centro, CA 92243
Phone: (760) 335-3442
Fax: (760) 335-3444

California State Senate Majority Caucus (c) 2020 California State Senate