Aug 12, 2020
California Governor Gavin Newsom August 12 Press Conference Transcript
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Governor Gavin Newsom: (05:45)
Good afternoon. Today, I want to talk about jobs and the economy. I want to talk about the health of California’s economy, the health of our workforce, and the obvious impacts this pandemic has had as it relates to our economic security, our economic prosperity, obviously your economic future. I want to first express a little bit of bias, a little bit of biography because it’s a point of privilege, also a point of passion in my life. Having graduated from college, put pen to paper, was able to get 13 investors to invest a modest amount of money to open up my first business. It was a cause that I had long dreamed of, and it was an extraordinary two year effort to actually manifest.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (06:34)
We opened that first business, a small little retail store in San Francisco with one part time employee, Pat Kelly, and that business grew to many businesses throughout the state of California. At one point, the businesses that I was privileged to be part of employed close to 1,000 people here in the state of California. I say that not to impress any of you, but to impress upon you a passion for entrepreneurialism, a passion and recognition of the passions that are expressed every single day by people that take an idea and put their dream to task and put their lives on the line quite literally, putting their financial future and their family members’ future, co-signing loans, making sure that they’re leveraged so they can get a line of credit and putting all of that out.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (07:28)
And then, of course, dealing with the travails even in a good economy, dealing with the setbacks even in a good economy. The surprises, the things that you never anticipated, never expected. But of course, in this environment with this pandemic, the challenges are more acute and more extraordinary for millions and millions of small businesses throughout the state. For that matter, all throughout the rest of this country. And so, it’s a long way of introducing an expression of deep reverence, deep respect for our small businesses, deep respect, deep reference for those that are working behind those counters not only as entrepreneurs, many self-employed, many with one or two employees themselves, but also the employees that also are supported by the backbone of our economy, our small business ecosystem.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (08:23)
And so I want to talk to you today. I want to talk more broadly to the workforce, and I want to talk more broadly to the economy here. The nation’s fifth largest economy, the great state of California. You can’t begin a conversation about economic development and economic recovery without asserting what I think is universally accepted, at least in the context of those experts that we work with and my own subjective beliefs in that belief, and that is the most urgent economic recovery tool for the business community. The one that we need the most is to stabilize this virus, to bend the curve of this pandemic. To do everything in our power to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. That’s foundational. I don’t think there is fundamentally anything more important for our economic future than this fundamental fact.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (09:19)
In addition, we recognize that anything we do in terms of an economic paradigm should be inclusive. We should be focused on resiliency, not only related to pandemics, but more broadly the macro economic vulgarities of an economy that dons the highs, the lows of the cyclical nature of the economy. Particularly an economy that’s so impacted by international conditions, the state of California. So we want to talk in terms of inclusivity. We want to talk in terms of resiliency. But we also want to talk in terms of the future. I’ll talk a little bit in a moment about some of the work we’re doing on our future of work taskforce. When we talk about future proofing our economy, we’re talking about some of the macro economic trend lines in IT and globalization, demographic trend lines and the like. The plumbing fundamentally of our economy radically shifting underneath us. And that of course has been a trend line for decades. Increasingly, even pre-pandemic, became a headline that has driven a recognition of this hinge moment and a need to be more fluid, more responsive and more resilient in our rulemaking and our approaches to economic growth and economic security. Any strategy also should be focused on the immediate, the near term. Obviously, a focus mindful on what may take a year or two in the medium term and always on the long-term. A sustainable, not just situational, mindset as it relates to economic growth and economic prosperity.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (10:54)
One of the most important actions we’ve taken recently here in the state of California was the development of 100 plus member jobs and economic recovery task force led by some of our nation’s top entrepreneurs. Some of our nation’s most well iconic individuals; from Tim Cook runs Apple to Bob Iger runs Disney. Two home-based companies, two companies we’re very, very proud of. But the frame was not only growth. It wasn’t just highlighting our entrepreneurs and our big business leaders. That task force is also about inclusion. We have a big thrust as it relates to equity, a big thrust as it relates to economic justice, social justice, racial justice.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (11:42)
And so, it’s a remarkable group of individuals that truly represents the diversity of our state. Diversity of viewpoints, diversity of concerns and considerations as it relates to economic recovery. I just want to briefly highlight some of the work that they’ve been doing over the course of last number of months, particularly helping us with our sector specific guidance so that we can modify that original, as we did stay at home order, put out sectorial guidance, industry guidance for a safer reopening. The taskforce has been instrumental in advancing those efforts. They were also instrumental of helping us raise tens of millions of dollars for our wear a mask campaign. Also providing PSA free advertising capacity. Also providing us some of the creative to advance that fundamental campaign that may be the most impactful in terms of getting our businesses back open by mitigating the spread of this disease.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (12:39)
We also launched the Shop Safe Shop Local campaign, #ShopSafeShopLocal, to help support our small business, our micro businesses, our neighborhood businesses, and encourage people to maintain that support through this very difficult and trying time. We also had 90 members of that 100 member task force, which I can assure you it was a remarkable number of people that signed on to a letter agreeing that we needed to advocate for more federal supports for federal stimulus dollars. This was around the times of the last CARE Act fund, but also that letter is instrumentally pointed at jump-starting these current negotiations between McConnell, Speaker Pelosi and others. We’re not giving up on Congress moving forward. Not just president through executive orders, but Congress moving forward to do the right thing in subsequent stimulus support.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (13:35)
We also had the benefit, from this task force, of five subcommittees that have provided dozens and dozens of recommendations that we have put into play in real time and we’ll be advancing over the course of the next weeks, not just months. And I’ll get to that in just a moment. Let me just talk about some specific actions we have taken to support the economy here in the state of California already in play. We’ve already moved forward to simplify accounting methods to reduce tax liabilities for most small businesses. I can get into the details of this, but I really want to get through a long list to give you a sense of the breadth. And in some cases, the depth of some of these efforts so you get a sense of what we are trying to achieve here as a state and the support we’re trying to provide.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (14:23)
We also eliminated, through the budget. I’m very grateful of legislative support for this effort, eliminated that $800 minimum franchise tax for all new startups here in the state of California. So that franchise tax no longer applies for businesses who want to start here in the state of California. We also have allowed small businesses to defer tax payments. This we did a number of months ago, and this has been very, very fruitful. Up to 12 months and up to $50,000 of deferred sales tax payments. That’s a big deal. Again, as this former small business owner, I could deeply appreciate cashflow concerns and issues being able to defer for at least a year up to $50,000. It’s like getting a line of credit against those dollars that are owed and being able to utilize them to pay rent, to pay your employees, to pay for these extraordinary expenses and burdens that have been placed on you.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (15:18)
We also extended the sales tax deadlines during this pandemic as well. Accordingly, we have worked to support the economy by supporting working families. 3.6 million working families have already received $1 billion through our earned income tax program. I don’t know another state that is providing more for working families. These are folks on the edge. These are people working hard. These are families in need. These are direct contributions in their pocket. We had a budget that just passed those dollars being distributed in real time. Over $1 billion in new tax credits. 3.6 million working families that got the benefit of those efforts.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (16:02)
Accordingly, we advanced over just the last 24 month period, but I thought it was important to highlight that we have advanced over $1 billion, unprecedented, in California’s history for low income housing tax credits. And this all goes to jump-starting our economy, jump-starting housing production here in the state. You’ll see those line item here in this slide 18. Bills that we advanced and signed with incredible leadership of the legislature package that we are very proud of to move housing production forward last year. By no stretch of the imagination is that where we are ending our efforts on housing. Quite the contrary. I’ll talk a little bit more about some of those efforts in a moment, but we are fully committed to doing more and better as it relates to housing production here in the state of California. That’s foundational in terms of our economic capacity. Not just our ability to recover from this pandemic, but our ability to be competitive in years to come.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (17:03)
And so, that’s a little bit of highlight on what we’ve done to support the economy. Let’s talk specifically now the work we’ve done to support businesses. One of the programs we’re very proud of, first-in-the-nation, a novel program where we took that entrepreneurial mindset, took pen to paper of sorts and tried to bring it into government. That entrepreneurial mindset worked with credible leadership of FEMA, Bob Fenton, and others, our regional director, created a program to support restaurants. 8,000 jobs have been supported. 5.6 million meals now have been served to seniors that need to quarantine, need to isolate, that don’t have other supports, that can’t get Meals on Wheels. Aren’t getting other meals delivered. This program not only helps our seniors, but it has helped support these restaurants that have just been pummeled by this pandemic and the challenges of opening and reopening all related to the transmission of this disease. First-in-the-nation, Great Plates Delivered…
Governor Gavin Newsom: (18:03)
Of this disease, so first in the nation, Great Plates Delivered program. It’s paying dividends and I’m really proud of that program, proud of those partnerships and proud of that effort, particularly now that we’re seeing other states replicate this model. We’ve waived property tax penalties for small businesses and we created a new small business loan targeting minority and women-owned businesses, micro loans. These are people that can’t get those PPP loans, they couldn’t get the SBA loans that are falling basically through the cracks. Don’t have commercial banking relationships, credit banking relationships, and as a last report need support. Some of that’s first loss support, more access, liquidity to capital, forgive the language, be a little confusing, but the bottom line is tens of millions of dollars. It’s over 100 million now but 75 million in new dollars that we put in to this place and in this space to help our small businesses and provide access and opportunity for loans during this very difficult period of time.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (19:04)
Accordingly we have also focused our efforts on supporting organic businesses that preside or reside here in the state of California. We announced a number of weeks back a program called SafelyMakingCA.org. SafelyMakingCA.org is a platform. I encourage you to take a look at it that encourages you to support small businesses, medium business, manufacturers here in the state of California. It is a fact we are still the largest manufacturing state in America. While manufacturing gets so much attention in other parts of this country, it deserves more attention here in the state of California. We worked with the Manufacturing Association to develop this program with their incredible leader and incredible leadership, CMTA helped us conceive of this new platform. Hundreds and hundreds of small businesses procuring PPE including N95 masks that we are actually purchasing from a business in Santa Clara, California that’s reconstituted its line of small business that is growing in this pandemic, developing tens of millions of N95 masks that we’re procuring, the virtual cycle of sales tax and dollars that flow through that cycle of engagement with the state procurement, through the Office of Emergency Services into a county and a community, creating jobs, creating opportunities, direct and indirect economic supports.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (20:31)
It’s exactly what we want to see more of. Trust me when I say this, this is a point of deep emphasis for us but we have a new platform. We have new programs. We are not just proposing something in this space. We’re actually manifesting something in this space. Not at the scale we need to, but with real progress, not just promotion behind this effort.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (20:52)
Another program we’ve done that I’m very proud of, I long have been an advocate not just for unemployment insurance, I think we need to move towards an employment insurance program in this country. Something I did as may of San Francisco through the last Great Recession, we got a waiver to do a program where we were able to hire employees, many were getting actually less than they would being on unemployment insurance, but they still went back to work for … Well, three reasons. Dignity being the most important. They wanted to look, I remember meeting some workers who said, “You know what? The reason I took this job back through this employment insurance program and I didn’t pick up an employment insurance check is that I wanted to look my kids in the eye and say that I earned these dollars.” That was a touching and profound statement. I think it was Voltaire that said work solves life’s three great evils, boredom, vice and need.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (21:57)
I certainly believe there is dignity with work and people naturally, don’t buy the rhetoric you keep hearing on national news that somehow people are just takers and prefer just to take an unemployment insurance check and somehow we have created a reverse stimulus in this country by providing those $600.00 additional contributions on a weekly basis to your paycheck. That’s nonsense and by the way, overwhelming majority of studies on this bear that out as complete garbage and so there is something about the dignity of work, dignity of being employed, that 99% of workers prefer and I just want folks to know we have a program called our Work Share Program and already it’s supported 54,000 employees, 8,400 employers have taken advantage of this program and if you’re an employer, I encourage you to do the same. You want to keep your employees employed, reach out, go to the covid19.ca.gov website, covid19.ca.gov website. Learn more about this Work Share program already paying dividends. It is an employment insurance program. We employ your employees so we keep them off the unemployment line and it is a program worth scaling and I believe worth mentioning here today.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (23:22)
Accordingly I want to just mention we have 86 active small business centers in the state of California speaking over 31 languages. They have seen not surprisingly a tenfold increase in their financing assistance since the beginning of this pandemic but it’s also the backbone of our small business supports in the state, this network of small business centers and I just want to thank all the employees working in those small business centers for all of their counseling work, all their work just advising and supporting small businesses that have come in record volume in the state and I encourage you as a small businessperson to consider reaching out, learning more about our small business centers that are in your region and in your area.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (24:04)
We can’t talk about business without talking about the workforce and so it is incredibly important for us to highlight some of the work that has been done and some of the work we’re going to be doing as it relates to supporting our essential workforce. Essential workforce broadly defined by providing workers’ compensation which we did through this pandemic, the paid sick leave that we provided in this pandemic for our food service workers, the paid family leave so people can care for their children or if they have a member of their family that is quarantined, they need to have that paid family leave. We advanced efforts in this place.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (24:47)
We also advanced efforts to support our frontline essential workers by providing more support through childcare contributions. Tens of millions of dollars we put in place to support those frontline workers to help them get childcare so they could stay there on the frontlines, that workforce at a time when we desperately needed them. We also created programs you may recall, a hotel program where we subsidized hotel rooms for healthcare workers that otherwise were sleeping in their cars, were scared to death to go back home and expose their families and were going out of pocket staying in hotel rooms or in some cases were in shelters as we discovered and so we created a program to provide housing subsidies or rather hotel voucher subsidies for that workforce and we extended that to agricultural workers as well.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (25:40)
We did cash assistance, direct cash assistance through philanthropy and Chan Zuckerberg Foundation among others to help our skilled nursing facility workers. Tens of millions of dollars in that space as well. Millions of masks. Talk about tens of millions, tens of millions of masks, PPE and other important gloves, gowns, face coverings we sent out to our essential workforce because we were able to procure hundreds of millions of procedure masks, surgical masks, and N95 masks through our large scale purchasing capacity.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (26:14)
We did an eviction moratorium. We talked a little bit about that on Monday. I want to just thank Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, members of the Judicial Council to their credit that are considering extending that moratorium through the end of August. They haven’t done so and I’m not doing this to put pressure on them. I just want to thank them for their very constructive dialogue and engagement. That will give us time working with the legislature to enact an extension of those moratoriums and meet the needs for millions of Californians that are feeling the anxiety and stress in that space.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (26:52)
We also were able to work with some of the largest big banks in the United States on mortgage forbearance. We negotiated that, I think we were one of the first states in the country to do so and I want folks to know that we are working aggressively behind the scenes, can’t make any promises to see what we can do to extend some of the same support. Look, no one’s been more supportive than the California legislature and I want to just thank legislative leadership, the pro tem, speaker, some of the key legislative leaders, Bob Hertzberg and others that have just been proactive and engaged and engaging on the issue of elevating ideas and legislative supports to spur economic growth here in the state of California. We have just a couple weeks left, just over two weeks left in this legislative session and so we have to get work, we have been at work, but we got to roll up our sleeves now and get this package across the finish line.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (27:49)
So a) I want to acknowledge their leadership, all their incredible ideas, the work they’ve already done, the work we did together last year creating that foundation, a predicate for the work that is in front of us. Now let me talk a little bit about that work in front of us. Again, forgive me for being long-winded, perhaps speaking a little bit more quickly but I want to get through this presentation because I think it’s incredibly important to many of you watching and those that will be supported through some of these efforts.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (28:22)
Let’s talk about these efforts. One of the most important things we could do [inaudible 00:28:27] clarity in terms of common ground with the legislature is accelerating state-funded infrastructure investment. Unspent bond moneys on projects that are ready to go. I always hesitate to say shovel-ready projects because that connotes some of the old stimulus after ’08, but we have a lot of projects that are ready to go that are permitted and could happen. All we need to do is move that money out a little bit quicker, a little bit faster. Hundreds of millions of dollars, in excess of $400 million that readily we have identified to move in this space to accelerate state-funded infrastructure investment, to create jobs in the immediate area. We’re working with the legislature and again, I want to just thank their leadership for presenting ideas and we have confidence we can get some of these over the finish line.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (29:23)
Accordingly, we have a lot of work we want to do on wildfire and green infrastructure investment, hardening our energy grid and we have strategies and plans, legislature has the same and we think we have common ground and can advance some of those efforts. Workforce training is foundational, it’s fundamental. We have been working with our economic taskforce, some of the nation’s leading workforce development leaders are members of that taskforce, and they have come up with some really creative ideas on workforce training. The legislature has their ideas. We have some ideas around skills libraries, I don’t want to get into some of the weeds but we have some really innovative strategies, certification strategies where we’re working with all the stakeholders and I am confident we can get some of this done, we’re making real inroads in terms of finding some common ground in that space. You can’t say enough about time value of money. As someone that years and years ago I think it took a few weeks when I first applied for my business license to open a business, create jobs, create tax revenue for the state, and it took weeks and weeks and weeks to get a simple business license.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (30:37)
That’s absurd and I recognize now my responsibility as governor to make sure that those weeks become days and I want to just thank Alex Padilla, the secretary of state. He’s done an amazing job in the last few years reducing that time, the secretary of state plays a role in this as well as a lot of other state agencies, but we’re not just talking about a simple license to operate. We’re talking about licenses across the spectrum to adapt and adjust and amend operations, particularly in this pandemic environment and so we’ve got to streamline permitting. Doesn’t mean eliminating rules and regulations and don’t read into that. It’s just about time value of money. Just make a decision, let me know what the rules of the road are. Don’t let this linger one week, one month, some cases six, seven, eight months. So that’s fundamental and we have some sectoral streamlining strategies are underway and just want folks to know that. This is a point of real commitment and resolve and we’re going to be at this for years but this is an area we are focused on, particularly now in hard hit sectors of our economy that are going to need the most support to recover from the last six months.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (31:48)
Can’t recover unless you can recover information, data, measure that data, be more customer service oriented in terms of how we provide services in the state. We talked about this on Monday. Across the spectrum, large scale IT, even medium, small scale IT needs to be improved in the state. We need to meet you where you are, and that’s not [inaudible 00:32:12] the mainframes that were designed in 1970, it’s on your smartphones where we can anticipate your needs. We can predict where you’ll be, not just wait for your inquiry and respond. That’s why we created this Office of Digital Innovation. That’s why we’re putting together a band of people that are committed to the cause of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, breaking down silos and barriers and processes to do more and do better to meet your needs in a more efficient and effective way so I included that because I think that’s foundational in terms of our economic future, in terms of our workforce as well.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (32:53)
Look, one thing we know, businesses are having a hard time that are on the edge of making a decision on whether or not they can afford to hire someone and so we want to make that a little easier, working again with legislative leaders to develop a new hiring tax credit. A lot of good ideas from the legislature and we have our ideas, our taskforce presented some new ideas as well. We refer to it as a Main Street hiring credit because we really want to focus on small business and when I say small business I mean not just small businesses with 500 or 1,000 employees but small businesses, one or two employees, self-employed that may want to hire a part-time person or may want to hire a full-time person. May want to hire someone that was formerly homeless. May want to hire someone that just came out of the criminal justice system and while we have some programs in this place we want to do more and do better to advance a more comprehensive hiring credit, particularly on sectors of our economy that have been most impacted by this pandemic.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (33:55)
We also want to work, the legislature has come up with some really good ideas and we very much support some of those ideas to conform to the federal PPP taxation. This is the federal loan program. We want to exempt that loan program for California-based businesses from state taxation. Just an area where there’s been real leadership and [inaudible 00:34:16] among others have bills on this and … If I get into the details of everyone who has a bill I’m going to get in trouble for those I didn’t mention, but I just want to thank the legislature for their work in this space and we’re working to see what we can do to make sure these bills are successful.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (34:33)
Workers’ protection, we talked about this 10 or so days ago in Stockton, California. I followed up here a few days later talking about the work we need to do to our essential workforce and how disproportionate this impacts the Latino community and the black community here in the state of California. We need to advance more worker protections. Look, if we’re going to eliminate this disease, we want people that have tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19, we need them to isolate. We need them to quarantine, but if you can’t afford to quarantine, you can’t afford to isolate, you physically don’t have the ability to do that at your home, you need protections and that’s why workers’ protections are foundational. Family leave, paid sick leave, workers’ comp. It’s the only way we’re going to succeed here and so for businesses this is essential. It’s not just for workers to reopen but for businesses it’s essential that their workers are healthy and safe and not coming to work because they need that paycheck, sick and then impacting the entire country and impacting the ability for that organization to continue to operate.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (35:41)
So we see this as something that’s very connected to the business community and business needs. Also we want to help with our outreach and I mentioned some of the work we’ve done in this space in terms of the employee toolkits, employer toolkits, know your rights campaigns, all of this culturally competently delivered throughout the state of California so that employees that
Governor Gavin Newsom: (36:03)
… Throughout the state of California so that employees that are entitled to a lot of these programs that actually pay in to these programs are aware that they’re entitled to them, and they don’t have any retaliation. It’s always an exception, but we’ve got to address people that may be a little more abusive to those workers and their rights, and make sure that those workers are empowered and aware, and that’s part and parcel of our efforts to protect workers to more quickly and expeditiously reopen this economy, and beyond even this pandemic. Big awareness campaign, public awareness campaign, we want to continue to do that. More specificity, more nuances. We turn the page, and I’ll get to the latest numbers in a moment, and some of the trendlines are moving in the right direction, how we can more effectively target our public awareness campaigns.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (36:51)
I also want to acknowledge all those caregivers out there. This is personal. My wife, among others, but it’s also a cause my administration holds dear… Chief of Staff, Ann O’Leary, among many others. But I know legislative leaders care deeply about caregiving care economy, which we need to highlight domestic workers and the like. This pandemic’s had a real impact on their lives. There’s a lot of legislative conversations in this space. I want to acknowledge them, thank them for introducing more formerly some strategies for consideration. We want to work together on those efforts accordingly. We also need to protect consumers. We have, as part of our package we introduced earlier this year, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. California can lead in this space, and I think it’s foundational to protecting workers, to protecting a more sustainable framework to reopen our economy that, again, advantages everybody. And so we want to continue to work closely with the legislature in that space.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (37:55)
I mentioned evictions a moment ago, and the work we’re doing. In that space in the past, the work we’ve done with the judicial council and hope is enacted by the judicial council to give us a few more weeks to put together a legislative package. I mentioned this on Monday, some of the work being done in this space, again, I want to just thank number of legislative leaders for their specific ideas, and we continue to have very, including yesterday, constructive conversations in this space. And we will update you as is warranted on that progress. I don’t want to get in the way of the negotiation right now of talking out of school, except to say that we are committed to getting something done over the course of the next few weeks on eviction protections, and addressing the needs for our most vulnerable renters and small landlords as well.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (38:48)
And speaking of that, one of the ideas that we are committed to is accelerating the distribution of the $300 million in our national mortgage settlement funds. The original budget proposed that we would spend that down over the course of a number of years, $75 million in this year, but we now want to accelerate that, and we’re proposing putting all $300 million out this year to address the needs, again, of our most vulnerable homeowners and renters. So this is to really help small landlords, to help renters, and homeowners that have been impacted all within the letter of the law of the settlement related to the mortgage funds, by the way, led by then Attorney General Kamala Harris. We want to thank her. Wouldn’t be having this specific conversation without her leadership in this space. And this is just a demonstrable example of that leadership, and how important it is to come at this time.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (39:53)
And so we want to accelerate those funds. And I think we have a lot of support from the legislature in that effort. Accordingly, we can’t talk about economic growth, economic recovery, as I mentioned a moment ago, without talking about housing. No greater economic stimulus, the virtual cycle of housing growth, housing production, housing starts. We did a lot of things last year on Infill Infrastructure Grants, and more money. Mentioned billion dollars the last few years in tax credits. We also have the ability to move some of our bond funds in this space, and move those dollars, distribute those dollars, sooner. And so we are working with the legislature to do just that, and want to thank, again, legislature for their efforts in this space, and know that we are very committed. We’ve identified well over a $100 million in this space to move quickly and efficiently and effectively out there accordingly.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (40:46)
We have a lot of them bills in the legislature, and I just want to thank the Protem, among others, that have bills on moving housing production, which just simply means get housing built faster. Can’t be more clear about that. Number of bills, I don’t want to attach to any one bill we’re negotiating those points, but the time value of money also includes the time to actually start construction. Once you identify a piece of property, line up the financing, get through all the local permits, the regional permits, the state permits, any federal barriers, and then you’ve got to go… I mean, it’s a labyrinth. And so we have an economic obligate, but also I would argue an ethical one in the context of how housing prices have ravaged the economy in the state over decades, and how we simply have not produced enough housing in the state over the course of decades. We have to address that, and I think some of these bills will move in that direction with caveats, with amendments, with considerations, all stakeholders at the table.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (41:53)
Final couple points I want to make, and I’ll jump briefly into today’s data and then answer any questions, is later this week, we’ll be putting out more detailed plan on closing the digital divide. It’s clear that reforms in the economic space also need to address and adapt to the reality of this pandemic and the conditions this pandemic has created. Digital divide as relates to education, that’s obvious and foundational, but also as it relates to the economy, broadening access to tablets, broadening access to a broadband is fundamental. It’s not just access to broadband, it’s high quality, high speed broadband. That’s also fundamental. And so we’ll be putting out more details in that space later this week, but I wanted to just point them out to here today, as well as recognizing we’re doing a lot more telework.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (42:46)
What are the rules of engagement on telework for employees and employers? And so we’re looking in that space as well, and I want to telegraph that, which relates to teleworking in this state. That we need to, I think, get under the hood and consider some strategies of flexibility that meet the needs and the rights and our responsibility to protect employees… At the same time, recognize these new tools of technology, new tools of engagement, require, perhaps, some new thinking. Speaking of new, you see here briefly, and I’ll jump through just very briefly these numbers, a number, 11,645. It’s the total number of COVID cases that were reported in the last 24 hour period here in the state. Now, I mentioned on Monday that this week, over the next few days, I’m up to 72 hours through tomorrow night, most likely, that we will take all of that backlog, the 295,000 backlog numbers of cases, figure out total number of positives we have, and then begin to stack those positives on the actual dates those numbers came in. So we’re beginning to do that.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (43:59)
But for the purpose of transparency, yesterday, 12,500. Today, 11,645. We’re giving you numbers that represent the actual number of positive cases, and a number that begins the process over a few day period of truing up the total number of positives from that backlog. If you’re following me, I’m impressed and grateful. It’s a long-winded way of saying that the actual numbers today that we are putting out, the 11,645, includes 6,212 backlogged cases, and the actual number today is 5,433. So backlog numbers will come in next couple of days. We will then get through all of that. We’ll true up all these numbers. We’ll get a brand new positivity rate out there for everybody. But know all that is happening on the schedule that we promoted on Monday, and just wanted, for transparency purposes, give you a sense of how many backlog numbers we just added today, but give you a sense that I think is a little bit more optimistic. The 5,400 too high, but a lot lower than we’ve been tracking the last few weeks. Again, another indication that we are turning the corner on this pandemic.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (45:22)
Briefly, let’s follow that up with some other proof points. Hospitalizations. These are the facts. These are the grounding numbers, hospitalizations, ICUs, deaths. These are the lagging indicators, and these numbers obviously very consequential. It’s very encouraging, still, to see the 14 day hospitalization numbers continue to decrease over 19%. 19.3, 19.4% decrease in the last 14 days. Consequence, that decrease… You saw that on Monday, you saw last week, the week prior, see a decrease in hospitalizations… That number, now 5,442, represents about 7% of the healthcare system capacity in the state. 9, 8, now down to about 7% of the capacity. So it relates to ICU admissions. You see similar a trend line. A little even more encouraging than last week… Rather, on Monday. Last presentation on ICU is now 16% decrease on ICU admissions over a 14 day period.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (46:26)
So tracking similarly to the decreases, we’re seeing 19% in hospitalizations as a consequence. Again, looking total capacity, that pie chart, critical care capacity, ICU capacity, now was 23%, 22, now about 20% of the total number of ICU patients, COVID-19 positive patients, in our ICU system. Ventilators, again, north of 13,000 available, doing better than we were a few weeks ago with 11,000 plus ventilators available. As always, again, appreciate you sticking in with me on this presentation. As always, we encourage you to wear a mask. Want to see those numbers continue to go down? Wear a mask. Want to see those numbers continue to go in the right direction? Continue to physically distance. I want to see those numbers continue to go down. As the temperatures go up, try to avoid mixing. I saw the American river the other day, and I might as well been at spring break. Thousands and thousands of people were not minimizing mixing.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (47:36)
Raised little shivers in my spine that here we are making all this progress, and it could be done away in a day, two, a week, two. People begin again to let their guard down. Can’t let your guard down. Got to continue to practice all of these fundamental rules of the road as it relates to what we know works, non-pharmacal interventions to mitigate the spread of this disease, including washing your hands, but not, again, more important than wearing a mask. And so I want to encourage you to do just that. Final point I just want to say on businesses, and I have a mantra. It’s a bias, and forgive me, it is a bias, but that bias, I wear, again, through personal experience, not just intellectualization as governor of the state of California cares deeply about economic growth and economic prosperity.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (48:27)
And that mantra is simple, that you can’t be pro- job and anti-business. And I think it’s just fundamental that when we talk about job growth and job creation, that we support our small businesses. We support those folks that take risks and put everything on the line. The second point I want to make is businesses can’t thrive in a world that’s failing, and that’s also fundamental. And so if it is indeed a truism that you can’t be pro-job and anti-business, and businesses can’t thrive in a world that’s failing, then we have to recognize that the new paradigm on economic growth is growth and inclusion. And that’s the foundation. That’s the framework to which we believe the values of the state of California are advanced, our principles are advanced, and longterm sustainable economic recovery can be found. Growth and inclusion. And so in conclusion, I wanted to make that point and thank everybody on our task force, thank everybody in the legislature for all of their ideas, and the business community for their ideas, and cities large and small all across the state that have submitted their ideas to help us in the pursuit of these efforts.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (49:51)
And close to open up for questions by saying one final point. That list, while for many of you seemed exhaustive and exhausting, it is not an entire list of ideas that we are currently considering and negotiating with the legislature. There are a number of very potent, powerful, and very insightful ideas that are being promoted by members of the legislature that are not on that list that we continue to engage on. And I just want to acknowledge that, and let you know that it is not intentional, that neglect. I just wanted to put together a list today where I think we’ve made a lot of progress, but no, that is by no means an exclusive list of the considerations that we are advancing over the course of this legislative session that concludes on August 31st. With that, I’ve concluded my presentation. Happy to answer questions.
Speaker 1: (50:52)
Ashley Zavala, KRON4.
Ashley Zavala: (50:55)
Hi, governor. I’ll get the question out of the way, but I just wanted to see if you considered who you might appoint to take Kamala’s seat if she’s elected, and what that process looks like for you should you have to make that decision.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (51:07)
Last I looked, it’s August of 2020, and my understanding is in January, toward end of January, 2021, that decision would need to be made. That’s a way of saying this. It’s not way of being flippant. It’s a way of being factual and very transparent. Absolutely focused on bending this curve, mitigating the spread of this disease, getting our economy moving again, getting people back to work, getting our kids, including, dare I say selfishly, my kids, back to school, and getting back to a semblance of normalcy, and looking forward to turning the page as a nation, and working very, very closely with my old friend of over a quarter of a century, the next Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris.
Speaker 1: (51:59)
Adam Beam, AP.
Adam Beam: (52:04)
Governor, when it comes to the temporary eviction rules that the Judicial Council could set to expire on September the first, isn’t it likely that any bill the legislature passes won’t take effect until January 1st, that we might have a gap there? And I’m wondering if, if that’s the case, would you issue an executive order to extend those protections to the end of the year?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (52:29)
We have urgency capacity with the legislature, so the answer is there’s a way of addressing that, but let me also just make this point. We were able to take executive action through the emergency orders that are afforded to me during this pandemic right now, and that we’ve done that. And we advanced those same orders in terms of capacity that we provided the Judicial Council to do the same they did. But right now we are working in the spirit of collaboration, cooperation, partnership with the legislature, and a lot of stakeholders on some nuances that I think are incredibly important to work through.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (53:06)
And so I’m confident that we’ll get to where we need to go, but I’m very cognizant, and I think it’s a very good question. Very cognizant of that timeline, and that’s why we’re hoping it does get extended to September 1st. That will give us the opportunity to move with the urgency that’s required, and to do so in a way where we can address that concern around a gap by January 1st. So we are working through that, and we have a pathway that we believe to put something in place that would work very nicely through that September 1st deadline.
Speaker 1: (53:40)
Alexei Koseff, SF Chronicle.
Alexei Koseff: (53:44)
Hi, governor. You said again today that you’re optimistic about the trend of where the infections are heading, and it looks like the state is turning the corner. Could you specify a bit more about what you mean? What are you seeing that makes you optimistic, and do you think we’re turning the corner …
Alexei Koseff: (54:03)
… are you seeing that makes you optimistic. And do you think we’re turning the corner enough that you can start considering a plan to reopen the businesses that have been forced to shut down again a second time through the recent orders that you’ve made?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (54:15)
So let me bring up the slide on hospitalizations. This is what gives me some confidence we’re moving in the right direction. We have COVID-19 hospitalization numbers that, again, have decreased 19% over the course of the last 14 days. The last four presentations that I’ve made, public presentations, you’ve seen similar decline in hospitalizations. After significant growth, you may recall month or so ago that was very, very difficult. Very early July, where we saw hospitalization growth over a 14 day period, North of 50%. Now we’re seeing declines in hospitalizations. Accordingly, in ICU admissions, trend lines are favorable. So specific to your question, these are specific proof points that connect to some optimism that what we are doing as a state. And I say, we, the people of the state of California, 40 million strong. What you are doing is working. Wearing those face masks is responsible, I believe disproportionately, for this trend line. Socially distancing, physically distance, responsible for this trend line.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (55:26)
People that are becoming more cognizant of mixing outside of their households, more cognizant of letting down their guard even within their household, you’re responsible. They are responsible for these trend lines. The worst mistake we can make, I’ve said this in the past, is run the 90 yard dash where we think we’ve got this and we walk away and we revert back to the way things used to be. And that’s why we have to be very cautious and very deliberative as we begin the modification. Now, you specifically asked, in addition to what gives you some optimism, including by the way, the total case rates. I’m going to give you the new positivity numbers. I want to make sure those are 100% accurate when we work through the details of that backlog, that’s forthcoming. But you’ll also note that we have been consistently engaged, and I mentioned this in the outset of the presentation today, with our recovery task force on sectoral guidelines for safely reopening.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (56:28)
We did that when we put up guidelines, we’ve been doing that consistently, working with health officials all up and down the state of California, and we are consistently iterating, we are consistently modifying those orders. Just recently, we put out new orders as it relates to sports, high school sports, youth sports, broadly defined clubs sports. We put it out for higher education. We are constantly making adjustments mitigating based upon factors and criteria and conditions. We continue to work with our advisory committees, continue to work with health officials and a big part of these efforts moving forward. When, not if, when we make subsequent modifications to these sectorial guidelines is a commensurate effort with much more focus, much more intention and more deliberative mindset than was the case a number of months ago when we did the original modifications of public education and awareness around the power and potency of continuing, continuing, even if we reopened a sector of our economy.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (57:36)
Continuing to enforce a consciousness, literally and figuratively, enforce a consciousness of promotion of these efforts to mitigate the spread and transmission of disease. Because one thing we know is this can flare up in a moment and there is no having made it as it relates to being successful in this space, as it relates to transmission of this disease unless and until we get a vaccine, unless and until we have kind of therapeutics that can significantly mitigate the impacts of this disease. And so until that point, even if we modify, we have to maintain our vigilance and we’ll need a commensurate public awareness campaign and enforcement campaign with any subsequent modifications to ensure that.
Speaker 2: (58:26)
[inaudible 00:58:26] it’s Michaelson, Fox 11.
Governor, as you mentioned, you’ve known Kamala Harris for a very long time. The country is now getting to know her and think about her in a different way. I’m wondering if you can share some insight on what she’s like behind the scene? What the nature of your relationship is like with her? And although you’re not thinking about a replacement, I’m curious if anybody has already started to pitch themselves as a replacement to you?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (58:53)
Well, you may be the only one that hasn’t, unless you just did. And that is only slight exaggeration. And I can’t be more pointed privately than I am being publicly. That’s not what I’m focused on right now. I’m focused on what I need to be focused on and that’s you and your health. That’s the economy and its needs and the support that we need to provide small businesses and the priority, get our kids back in school. That’s what matters to you and that’s what matters to me as my top priority. Look, as it relates to, I don’t want to belabor and get into too much personal issues, but as you said, or I said, thank you for reflecting on it that I’ve known Kamala Harris before she was district attorney in San Francisco, before I became mayor. We of course served, were elected the same day when she was district attorney when I was mayor.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (59:54)
I had the privilege of working with her for two terms. When she ran for attorney general to be a supporter and advocate for her campaign. I ran myself with lieutenant governor worked with her as attorney general and supported her efforts very proudly so when she ran for the US Senate and now as governor, been working very collaboratively in a very supportive way with her team and with her in the United States Senate. I accordingly and not surprisingly based upon that history, based upon that relationship and in my insight in terms of the character and the competency and her devotion to the cause that I think unites the vast majority of us. Her empathy, her compassion, her learnedness or doggedness or commitment to solving problems, not just identifying problems. Her executive experience, not just legislative experience made it an easy decision when she announced her campaign for president, for me to come out and endorse her.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:00:54)
Couldn’t be more proud of that. And so you can imagine how proud I’m feeling, American people are feeling not just Democrats. I have a few Republican friends that actually had a smile on their face yesterday about her candidacy now for the next vice president. So it is a proud moment, historic and it’s a very meaningful. I’ll close on this, forgive me, meaningful moment for California. I’m privileged, I sit at a desk that Earl Warren sat at. Former, by the way, assistant district attorney in Alameda County, where Kamala Harris started. Obviously, made his way to governor and became Supreme Court justice. Where Ronald Reagan sits. It’s a proud place to sit there were great work was done by Pat Brown and Jerry Brown, among many other, Schwarzenegger. Proud of the work and partnership now with Davis Wilson and others that have been incredibly supportive.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:01:51)
California has a proud history of electing some outstanding leaders. And I got to say also a point of pride, not just being a Californian, but growing up in San Francisco and a lot of these leaders emanated from San Francisco. And if you followed San Francisco politics, you know it’s not for the timid. And it doesn’t surprise me at all that so many of our nation’s great leaders, Nancy Pelosi being top among them, emanate from that extraordinary city. The birthplace of my kids, my father, my grandfather, not only myself.
Adam Beam: (01:02:30)
Hi governor, thank you for your time. So there’s four and a half million people who have lost the $600 a week, extra unemployment. And I’m just wondering what’s next for them? What do you have to say to them? And what is your plan going forward with that?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:02:51)
We talked a lot about that on Monday and put out specific slides and presentations on Monday of what it would take to draw down that $ 300. That was the original proposal based upon the executive order the president put out to receive the federal support, the supplement on the unemployment insurance. I commented that it would cost the state about $2.8 billion a month. $2.8 billion a month to meet the rules and regulations that were assigned to that original executive order. Yesterday as you know, it’s been well reported, there was a modification to the executive order, at least, an assertion that there would be guidelines forthcoming to modify it where it’s no longer a $400 contribution. 600, we believed it to be 400, 25% would have to be picked up by the state. We talked about how that was simply not possible for the state even as large as ours to be able to do.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:03:52)
Now, that 400, 600, 400 has now dropped to 300. One thing we are doing is, as I say, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Now, I don’t look at it as a gift horse. We’re federal taxpayers. I’m a taxpayer, you’re a federal tax payer as well. This is what federal government is all about, time and need, meeting the needs of the American people. This is when we’re all in it together. And traditionally those needs are met by forwarding money from the federal government that has a printing press, states simply do not, to provide for the needs of the American people in the most direct and impactful way. And we were very proud and pleased and very thankful of Congress, the president, for endorsing the CARES Act, for getting that $600 contribution. I think it’s substantially mitigated the economic consequences of this pandemic. I think it’s substantially aided the capacity for businesses to remain [inaudible 01:04:52] because of consumer spending and consumer confidence.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:04:54)
Even during that difficult period of time, that maintained itself at a level that otherwise would never have. I think it has a historic blunder if we are unable to accommodate the needs of tens of millions of Americans with subsequent supplemental on unemployment insurance. And I believe personally and professionally that $300 is simply inadequate to do that, to help support small businesses, to help support economies, large and small across state, and very directly help support individuals and their families that are vulnerable to evictions, that are vulnerable to bill collectors, vulnerable in this climate. And so we continue to advocate for more federal support. We continue to be strong and assertive, and I take a backseat to no one going back months in advocating for a new CARES Act, supporting state and local government as well as individuals related to the unemployment insurance efforts. And we’ll continue to make our voice heard.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:05:55)
I had a very good, very detailed, very comprehensive call with Speaker Pelosi yesterday on this topic specifically, and answer to your question of what are we doing. And know this, forgive the long windedness, that we are working with our team if indeed, the gift horse comment, we only get $300 how we can process that $300 as quickly and efficiently as possible so at least we get those dollars out as we wait for either a deal with the current administration or a deal with the next administration in January. Here’s the report back, the ability to do so can happen relatively easily, relatively easily. You’d go from 600 to 300 if the rules of the requirements do not change, meaning the rules for eligibility don’t change. The unfortunate part is in the executive order that has now been changed, the eligibility rules have also changed.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:07:04)
And when you introduce new eligibility rules into these ancient systems, and trust me, California is not the only one, it creates a processing problem that can delay the distribution of these checks. And you know this well because you’ve seen governors of all political stripes make this crystal clear to the administration. So we are also encouraging the administration. We have made it clear to our partners at FEMA and we have made it clear to a lot of our federal partners that if you’re going to move forward, if you want these dollars to have the impact that you intend them to have, we’re grateful to take those dollars. We happily will accept them. We believe they’re not enough, but you can’t change the eligibility rules in a way that will impact our capacity to get these dollars in the pockets of people that need them the most as quickly as we otherwise could.
Speaker 2: (01:07:59)
Ariel Hart, Kaiser Health News.
Ariel Hart: (01:08:03)
Good afternoon, governor. I wanted to ask you, we understand that you didn’t have the full extent of the CalREDIE problems until a couple of Mondays ago. But have you had any indication or received any indication that CalREDIE wasn’t up to the task? And what about future problems with the system? Do you have any plans to try and replace it? That the flaws continue.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:08:26)
We talked a lot about that on Monday. Dr. Ghaly talked even more detailed last Thursday and last Tuesday. And forgive me, just in the spirit of the work that was presented and work that has been done including some that we socialized on Monday, we made it crystal clear that our commitment is not just to piecemeal a solution and have now addressed the backlog. We made that clear on Monday. But to build a new strategy, a parallel strategy. And I also mentioned this Monday, to create a separate system on top of CalREDIE. Now, it’s connected, but that would absorb a COVID-19 focus in a forward minded way. It is clear the CalREDIE system does simply does not have the capacity to scale as we had hoped for. We will reform that. We have mitigated that as we speak, we’ll reform that in the medium term with this parallel strategy.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:09:28)
And then in the longterm, we have Amy Tong and others that run our technology department, that are putting together a package of longer term reforms to make sure that we’re not back in this situation, the next governor is not back in this situation. That we have a legacy of learning from these challenges and fixing them once and for all. Well, I believe that may have been the last question. Thank you all for your time and your patience. Thank you again for your vigilance. Thank you all for doing what you can and what you have to mitigate the spread and to see this transmission begin to subside modestly. We continue to encourage you to be vigilant, stay safe, obviously stay healthy and stay ever vigilant about how easy this disease can transmit itself. Thank you all for the privilege of your time. Look forward to coming back talking in the next couple of days, a little bit more about digital divide, updating you on all of these numbers and more. Take care.