Senator Wiener Introduces Important Mental Health Workforce Legislation

OAKLAND — Governor Gavin Newsom visited a small business in Oakland on Wednesday to sign legislation extending additional COVID-19 paid sick leave for workers, and early budget action to provide an additional $6.1 billion in tax relief , tax credits and direct grants for small businesses hit hard by the pandemic, bolstering the state’s historic COVID relief efforts and investing in California’s iconic entrepreneurial economy.

“As California continues to lead the country’s economic recovery, today’s action reinforces our commitment to supporting the workers and businesses that have supported us all during this unprecedented pandemic and are driving our economy forward,” said said Newsom. “We are ensuring that workers have the time they need to care for themselves and their loved ones, by expanding our national small business grant program and supporting businesses whose innovation and entrepreneurial spirit helps make California the 5th largest economy in the world.”

Outlined by Governor, Acting Senate Speaker Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon in January, the Budget and Financial Review Committee’s SB 114 ensures that employees continue to have access to up to 80 hours of additional paid sick leave COVID-19 leave until September 30, 2022, which can be used by employees who have been asked to self-quarantine, those caring for affected family members by COVID, attending a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, and more. Small businesses with 25 or fewer workers are exempt from the legislation, which is retroactive to sick leave taken from January 1, 2022.

“Paid sick leave is essential to ensure that workers don’t have to make the impossible choice between going to work sick or losing the wages needed to pay rent and keep food on the table,” said Art Pulaski, Secretary -executive treasurer of the California Labor Federation. “In signing the COVID Paid Sick Leave Act today, Governor Newsom provided critical protection to frontline workers and families across the state, and underscored California’s commitment to workers. who have given so much to help our communities cope with this devastating pandemic.

Building on last year’s strong support for small businesses impacted by the pandemic — including $6.2 billion in tax relief for small businesses that received Paycheck Protection Program loans — Governor Newsom today signed SB 113 through the Budget and Tax Review Committee to provide an additional $6.1 billion in tax relief, tax credits and direct grants to the hardest hit businesses. SB 113 includes provisions that:

  • Providing nearly $500 million in tax relief for restaurants and venues: Complying with state tax policy for the Federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund and Federal Grant Programs for Venue Operators closed, the grants received by these companies will not be considered taxable by the state, which will result in a tax reduction. totaling nearly $500 million over the next few years.
  • Restoring $5.5 billion in tax credits and deductions for California businesses: restoring business tax credits, including for research and development and the net operating loss deduction for businesses a year earlier, short-term benefits for these companies are expected to reach $5.5 billion.
  • Invest $150 Million in California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grants: SB 113 is investing an additional $150 million in the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program to fund applicants on the waiting list – the program provided grants of up to $25,000 for small businesses affected by the pandemic.

“This more than $6 billion business relief package will help offset losses suffered by employers, help create well-paying jobs and accelerate our economic recovery from the pandemic,” said Jennifer Barrera, CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce. “While we still have work to do, it sends the right message that California is investing in the success of our business community.”

“Paid sick leave is a matter of life and death for grocers like me and our store customers,” said Samantha Webster, grocery worker at Safeway in Hercules and a member of United Workers Local 5. food and trade. I’m proud of how grocery store workers have come together to demand this important public health measure. Access to additional paid sick leave will now allow me to stay home if I need to and not have to worry about making my clients and colleagues sick.

Since the start of the pandemic, the administration has taken steps to protect and support the California workforce, including expanding access to paid family leave and workers’ compensation; more resources for essential child support services for essential employees and vulnerable populations; additional weekly unemployment benefits; building a pipeline of personal protective equipment to help workers stay safe on the job; and support for employees to self-isolate and quarantine outside of their homes, among other measures.

“I am grateful to the Governor and our Legislative Assembly leaders for taking this urgent step to support teachers like me with the paid sick leave we need to keep us, our families and our communities safe. colleagues while providing a safe learning environment for students,” said Johanna Garcia Normart, a teacher at Eden Gardens Elementary in Hayward. “This extension will help our schools continue to meet the unprecedented pandemic challenges we face every day. »

“Paid sick leave related to COVID is really important for all workers, and especially healthcare workers, who need it to provide safe and quality services to our patients and our communities, and to take care of us and our families as well,” Mayra said. Castaneda, healthcare technologist and SEIU UHW member.

For the full text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.

Michael A. Bynum