County of Orange & Orange County Business Council

The County allocated $10 million in CARES Act funding toward $1,000 grants for restaurants who comply with the program requirements.


Here are the instructions and application form:   

To View the Complete Press Release


covid tracker 12.4.20



Join us for SBA LIVE: Business Resources, including SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Q&A
Update 4/28: With the legislation passed/signed last week, another round of funding was made available for both PPP and EIDL.  
Important Links
With various SBA emergency business resources available, we understand you have a lot of questions. Please join today’s Zoom call at 2:00 p.m. (PST) to learn more about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), EIDL Advance, and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP/P3) and get your questions answered.
If you joined previous SBA Live calls, we will be covering the latest information, providing updates, and holding a Q&A session for attendees. Join us again if you didn’t get your question answered.
Topic: Join us for SBA LIVE: EIDL and Paycheck Protection Q&A
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


May 14, 2020 replay of live webinar of Seal Beach Chamber President Kori DeLeon discussing the path Seal Beach plans to take as it begins to open up. Senator Tom Umberg addresses the state level with Mayor Schelly Sustarsic, Mayor Pro-Tem Joe Kalmick, Chief of Police Phil Gonshak, Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos, Community Development Director Les Johnson and Park and Rec Director Tim Kelsey.


Rep. Rouda Votes to Pass Coronavirus Interim Emergency Funding Package

April 24, 2020 

Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Harley Rouda (CA-48) voted to pass a bipartisan agreement on an interim emergency funding package. This legislation funds the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), provides funding for hospitals, and financial assistance for testing.

“I am proud to support this package — but it is not enough,” said Rouda. “50,000 of our fellow Americans have died, 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment, cities are on the brink of bankruptcy, and tens of thousands of small businesses will not receive the financial assistance they need. More must be done to help Americans put food on the table and pay their bills. I will continue fighting on behalf of Orange County small businesses and working families.”

WATCH: Rep. Rouda speaks on House floor.

The bipartisan emergency funding package:

  • Strengthens the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program by adding $30 billion reserved for community-based lenders, small banks and credit unions, and $30 billion for medium-sized banks and credit unions
  • Secures $50 billion for SBA disaster lending through the Small Business Economic Industry Disaster Loan (EIDL) program
  • Secures $75 billion for hospitals and health care facilities
  • Secures $25 billion for COVID-19 testing


Rep. Rouda Votes to Establish a Bipartisan Coronavirus Oversight Panel

April 23, 2020

Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Harley Rouda (CA-48), a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, voted to establish a special bipartisan oversight panel: the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

“Congress has passed three bills with over 2 trillion dollars in emergency relief,” said Rouda. “Already, we have seen reports of mom and pop shops cut out of the PPP process, states struggling to purchase PPE and other critical supplies, and working families unable to collect their economic impact payments. This committee will root out waste, fraud, and abuse — ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and efficiently to save lives and jumpstart our economy.”


U.S. House Committee on Financial Services

COVID-19 Resource Center

Below please find the state-by-state PPP lender information from SBA.  Below are the specific links to the website.

Under the Loan Details and Forgiveness section:

And the specific document:

Important Updates and Links for Small Businesses

Business & Employee Resources


There are a wide variety of resources from different federal, state and private agencies for businesses and employees during this unprecedented time of uncertainty. Below are some of the many resources available to employers and workers:


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently announced a short-term relief grant becoming available April 20th to small businesses who employ between 3 and 20 people and have been financially harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.. Seal Beach is considered an economically vulnerable community meaning that small businesses meeting the aforementioned criteria qualify for this grant opportunity. Please visit the following link for more information:


The California Employment Development Department (EDD) provides a variety of support services to individuals affected by COVID-19 in California. For more information about COVID-19 specific resources, please visit their webpage or:


How can I find resources for financial support?


The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency has compiled resources for workers affected by COVID-19 to centralize information on paid sick leave, paid family leave, unemployment and more. See the chart to the right to find out what resources are available to workers. For more information, visit their webpage.


California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) has gathered federal, state, and local resources that provide guidance as well as examples of what communities are doing to help their local businesses. For more information, visit their webpage.


The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. Additionally, on March 20, the IRS, along with the U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. Department of Labor announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. For more information, visit their webpage.



The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development has compiled helpful information for employers, employees and all Californians as it relates to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. For more information, please visit their webpage.


The California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity (CAMEO) has compiled a list of resources for small- and micro- businesses affected by COVID-19. For more information, visit their webpage.


On March 16, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved an Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration for California, which makes loans available to applicable small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by COVID-19. These loans may be used for select activities, with interest rates of 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere (businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible) and 2.75% for non-profits. For more information, please visit their webpage.

Small Business Assistance- Harley Rouda

Rep. Harley Rouda Statement on Small Business Administration Assistance for Orange County Businesses

Laguna Beach, CA – Congressman Harley Rouda (CA-48) issued the following statement regarding Orange County’s eligibility for Small Business Administration (SBA) economic disaster loans.

“Effective immediately, Orange County small businesses affected by COVID-19 are eligible for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program,” said Rouda. “I was proud to vote for a bipartisan package to ensure that our local small businesses will be able to access $7 billion in low-interest loans. Through this program, each eligible business can receive up to $2 million in working capital loans to help overcome temporary loss of revenue.”

Small business owners can find more information on this program and apply at  For additional information, please contact the SBA’s customer service center at (800) 659-2955 or [email protected]

OC Health Department Guidance





Molly Nichelson

EOC Public Information Officer




Date:  3-17-20       Time:  14:26 hours


County Health Officer Issues Order
to Slow Spread of COVID-19

County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick issued a Health Officer’s Order today to protect the health and wellbeing of Orange County, CA residents.

“We are taking these mitigation steps in line with a directive issued by Governor Newsom to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Nichole Quick, County Health Officer. “We recognize community members may experience anxiety related to the social disruption caused by COVID-19, and want to encourage residents to reach out to loved ones using appropriate methods like telephone, video messaging, email and text.”

Please see the attached order for further details.

As this is a rapidly evolving situation, this Order may be revised and/or extended at any time.

For general information about COVID-19, please call the OC Health Care Agency’s (H.CA) Health Referral Line at (800) 564-8448, visit, or follow the HCA on Facebook(@ochealthinfo) and Twitter (@ochealth).

For any further questions, please call the County of Orange Public Information Hotline at (714) 628-7085.



SoCal Gas Guidance

COVID-19 Readiness: SoCalGas Shares Ways to Stay Safe and Save Money on Energy Bills While Spending More Time at Home

Home heating accounts for the largest natural gas use in most homes; here’s how to keep the thermostat low while you work or study from home due to Coronavirus concerns

LOS ANGELES March 17, 2020 With thousands of its customers working or doing schoolwork from home due to Coronavirus precautions, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today offered tips for staying safe and keeping utility bills low while still keeping comfortably warm during this late-winter cold snap.

SoCalGas offers customers the following tips to regulate their natural gas usage and keep energy costs low during this time:

Home Heating:

  • Remember that lowering your furnace thermostat by three to five degrees, health permitting, can save up to 10 percent on heating costs.

  • Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower and dress in layers. If you do go out, take the opportunity to set your thermostat even lower.

  • Keep blinds open to let in natural light which can serve as a supplement to your home heating system.

  • For safety and efficiency keep all heating vents and furnace registers free of dirt lint and obstructions.


  • Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible,

    launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items

    completely, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation.

  • Dry full loads, but don’t overload or over dry. Separate lightweight and heavy clothes for more

    energy-efficient drying.

  • Dry two or more loads in a row to take advantage of the heat still in the dryer.

    Water Heating:

  • Turn down the temperature on your water heater.

  • Take shorter showers to reduce your natural gas use. Cooking:

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  • Don’t open the oven door while food is cooking. You can lose up to 50 degrees in temperature and waste energy.

  • Cover pots when cooking and cook by time and temperature guides.

  • Cook several meals at the same time.

  • Never use the natural gas range for room heating. It is not designed for this purpose and can

    create a hazardous situation.

    Staying Safe

    The health, safety and wellness of its customers and employees is foundational to SoCalGas, and staying safe is more important than ever during the Coronavirus pandemic. SoCalGas technicians remain available to respond promptly to customers if they smell natural gas or think they might have a leak. As always, customers should call 800-427-2200 in the event they suspect a gas leak. SoCalGas customer service representatives will be asking customers a few health-based questions before SoCalGas technicians enter the home. Technicians will take precautionary measures such as wearing eye protection and gloves in homes to protect our employees and limit any potential spread of the virus.

    More energy saving and safety tips can be found at as well as additional information about SoCalGas’ response to COVID-19. Customers can call 800-427-2200 for any questions related to their natural gas bills.

    About SoCalGas

    Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Gas delivered through the company’s pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californiansabout 45 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.

    SoCalGas’ vision is to be the cleanest gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that vision, SoCalGas is committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2014 through 2018, the company invested nearly $6.5 billion to upgrade and modernize its pipeline system to enhance safety and reliability. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information

    visit or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.


Tax-Related Provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Tax-Related Provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act creates emergency paid sick leave, as well as paid family leave in the case of school closures, for working families impacted by COVID-19. It does so by requiring employers with up to 500 employees to provide paid sick leave and paid family leave, while providing a refundable payroll tax credit to employers to cover 100 percent of the cost of wages. There is also a refundable income tax credit for self-employed individuals.
Employers must offer two weeks (10 days) of paid sick leave for COVID-19-related reasons (existing leave offered can count towards the 10 days). If the sick leave is for an employee who is themselves sick or seeking a diagnosis, the benefit must replace all of the employee’s wages up to a maximum benefit of $511 per day. If an employee is caring for another individual who is sick, the benefit must replace at least two-thirds of the employee’s wages up to a maximum benefit of $200 per day. Our paid sick leave credit offsets 100% of employer costs for providing mandated paid sick leave. The credit also offsets, uncapped, the employer contribution for health insurance premiums for the employee for the period of leave.
Employers must offer 12 weeks of paid family leave for an employee with a minor child in the event of the closure of the child’s school or place of care. The first 10 days are unpaid, but the employee can overlap this with the 10 days of paid sick leave. This benefit must replace at least two-thirds of the employee’s wages up to a maximum of $200 per day. Our paid family leave credit offsets 100% of employer costs for providing mandated paid family leave. The credit also offsets, uncapped, the employer contribution for health insurance premiums for the employee for the period of leave.

Both credits get money out the door quickly. This credit is against payroll tax and is refundable, so employers receive funds as they make deposits. Employers do not pay the employer side of payroll taxes on the mandated leave. The Social Security OASDI trust funds and the Railroad Retirement Account are held harmless by transferring funds from the General Fund.
Self-employed individuals are provided similar credits as refundable income tax credits. If territorial governments provide corresponding credits, Treasury shall make payments to territorial governments to cover their estimated costs.

Tax Mechanisms
How does the refundable payroll tax work?/ Is this a payroll tax cut?
This is not a payroll tax cut. Payroll tax cuts or holidays typically lower (or eliminate) the payroll taxes that all employers must pay. In our legislation, payroll taxes are simply the mechanism we use to reimburse employers as quickly as possible.
The refundable payroll tax credit works like this: employers that are subject to the mandates pay their employees according to the mandates’ requirements. They are allowed a 100% credit against any wages they pay pursuant to the mandates. That credit is used to offset any payroll tax liability an employer has in a calendar quarter. If there is still credit leftover after the credit has been applied to the employer’s payroll tax liability, the employer will receive a refund in the amount of that excess.
When do employers or self-employed workers see this money?
The exact timing of receipt depends on the particular employer, but we have drafted this legislation so that employers get the benefit of any credit as soon as possible. In the case of employers who receive payroll tax credits, they will have lower payroll tax liability or receive a refund for every calendar quarter in which they pay wages pursuant to the mandates. Because employers will not have to put aside money to make payroll tax deposits, their cash flow outlook should improve even sooner than their first filing date.
Self-employed individuals who receive a credit may use that credit against estimated income tax payments. Estimated tax payments are due throughout the year. Self-employed individuals can also receive a refund after the end of their tax year.
Are the Social Security Trust Funds and Railroad Retirement Account held harmless?
Yes. Funds are transferred from the General Fund to ensure no impact on the OASDI trust funds and RRA.
Are Social Security benefits modified by the payroll tax credits?
No. The credit is only on the employer side of the Social Security OASDI tax, not the employee side.
What about the territories?
Employers in the territories are subject to the mandate on the same basis as employers in the rest of the United States. Employers will receive a payroll tax credit on the same basis as employers in the rest of the United States for qualifying wages paid to employees in the territories. If Puerto Rico or American Samoa provide for an equivalent credit to self-employed individuals, the federal government will reimburse those territories for payments under such a credit. Self-employed individuals in Guam, the U.S.V.I. and C.N.M.I. will receive the credit from the territorial governments, and the federal government will reimburse them the cost of the credit.
Types of Employees
Are hourly workers covered?
Yes, they are covered to the extent that their employer is mandated to provide leave. For paid sick leave, full- time employees are entitled to 80 hours (or 10 days) and part-time employees are entitled to the typical number of hours that they work in a typical two-week period. For paid family leave, all employees that have been employed at least 30 days may benefit.
Do gig economy and other self-employed workers receive the credit?

Yes. The legislation ensures that self-employed and gig economy workers receive the credit, even though they do not technically receive leave benefits under the paid sick and family leave mandates. It provides a refundable income tax credit in an amount of what self-employed workers would have received if they had been an employee receiving paid leave benefits pursuant to the mandates. For a given day that a self-employed worker could not work, they can claim a “rough justice” tax credit in the amount of their average daily self-employment income for the year. Individuals can reduce their estimated quarterly tax payments in anticipation of this credit.
Types of Employers
What does the small business size limitation apply to?
Both the paid sick leave and the paid family leave mandates apply to employers with fewer than 500 employees. Therefore, the credit is only available to employers with fewer than 500 employees.
Do nonprofit employers benefit from the credit even though they are tax-exempt?
Yes, nonprofit employers will still benefit from the credit because it is a credit against payroll taxes, which both nonprofit and for-profit employers pay.
Do governmental employers benefit from the credit?
No, governmental employers are ineligible for the credit. They are still subject to the employer mandate.


For a PDF, Click Here.



What the Bill Does
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act expands access to emergency paid sick leave to as many as 87 million U.S. workers. Many of these workers currently have no paid leave and are being forced to choose between their paycheck, their health, and the health of the people around them. This is a critical step toward protecting families’ financial security and mitigating the spread of the coronavirus.
Who Is Eligible?
• Employees at companies with fewer than 500 employees
• Local, state, and federal government employees
• Employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement and whose employers pay into a
multiemployer plan.
What Are They Eligible For?
• Eligible full-time employees are entitled to two weeks (80 hours) of fully paid time off (up to $511 per day) to self-quarantine, seek a diagnosis or preventive care, or receive treatment for COVID-19.
o Eligiblepart-timeemployeesareentitledtofullypaidtimeoff(upto$511perday)forthe typical number of hours that they work in a typical two-week period to self-quarantine to seek a diagnosis or preventive care, or receive treatment for COVID-19.
• Eligible full-time employees are entitled to two weeks (80 hours) paid time off at two-thirds of their regular pay (up to $200 per day) to care for a family member or to care for a child whose school has closed, or if their child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.
o Eligiblepart-timeemployeesarealsoentitledtothetypicalnumberofhoursthattheyworkin a typical two-week period at two-thirds of their typical pay (up to $200 per day) to care for a child whose school has closed, or if their child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID- 19.
Who Pays for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave?
• Employers initially front the cost of emergency paid sick leave but will be fully reimbursed by the
federal government within three months.
• The reimbursement will cover both the wages paid and the employer’s contribution to employee
health insurance premiums during the period of leave.
• Employers will be reimbursed through a refundable tax credit that counts against employers’ payroll
tax, which all employers pay regardless of non-profit/for-profit status.
• Employers will submit emergency paid sick leave expenses as part of their estimated quarterly tax
payments. If employer’s costs more than offset their tax liability, they will get a refund from the IRS.

What the Bill Does
Emergency Paid Family Leave
In response to widespread and potentially prolonged school closures, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides families with critical protections to ensure that workers can care for their children without sacrificing their paycheck.
Who Is Eligible?
• Employees at companies with fewer than 500 employees
• State and local government employees and certain federal government employees
• Employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement and whose employers pay into a
multiemployer plan
What Are They Eligible For?
• Eligible full-time employees and part-time employees are entitled to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to take care for their children in the event of a school closure or their child care provider is unavailable do to COVID-19.
• The 12 weeks of job-protected leave include two weeks of unpaid leave, followed by 10 weeks of paid leave. Eligible employees may elect or be required to overlap the initial two weeks of unpaid leave with two weeks of other paid leave they have available. Eligible employees will receive a benefit from their employers that will be no less than two-thirds of the employee’s usual pay.
Who Pays for the Emergency Paid Family Leave?
• Employers initially front the cost of emergency paid sick leave but will be fully reimbursed by the
federal government within three months.
• The reimbursement will cover both the wages paid and the employer’s contribution to employee
health insurance premiums during the period of leave.
• Employers will be reimbursed through a refundable tax credit that counts against employers’ payroll
tax, which all employers pay regardless of non-profit/for-profit status.
• Employers will submit emergency paid sick leave expenses as part of their estimated quarterly tax
payments. If employer’s costs more than offset their tax liability, they will get a refund from the IRS.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are employees at companies with more than 500 employees exempt from emergency paid sick leave?
The White House and Congressional Republicans were unified against any bill that included universal paid sick leave. Workers and families across the country do not have time for a stalemate. House Democrats made a difficult decision to provide emergency paid sick leave to tens of millions of U.S. workers rather than to no one at all.
Currently, 89 percent of employees at companies with more than 500 workers have access to paid sick leave. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides emergency paid sick leave to the workers who are least likely to have it.

Will the bill hurt small- and medium-sized businesses?
No. This bill will benefit small- and medium-sized businesses by helping them keep their workers healthy without taking on any additional costs. Every employer that provides paid leave under this bill will be fully reimbursed for the cost of both wages and health insurance premiums in no more than three months.
Does the bill exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees?
No. The bill does not exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Employees at these companies are eligible for emergency paid sick leave under this bill. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees can only qualify for a narrow exemption if the Department of Labor determines that providing these benefits would jeopardize the viability of the business.
Are health care workers and emergency responders exempt from the bill?
No. Health care workers and emergency responders are eligible for paid sick leave and paid family leave under this bill. Given the capacity challenges facing the health care system, employers have the discretion to exempt health care workers and emergency responders from the paid sick and paid family leave provisions. The Department of Labor also has the authority issue regulations exempting health care workers and emergency responders from the paid sick and paid family leave provisions.

For a PDF, Click Here.


More From Rep. Rouda

Ahead of this afternoon’s call with Representative Rouda, he asked us to pass along some information about his ideas for so-called “Phase Three” legislation to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. While he is proud to have voted for two bipartisan packages to respond to this crisis, there is still much to be done.


Please see below for some of our ideas for further congressional action. We look forward to your thoughts during today’s call. You can also submit ideas and feedback using this form.


Supplemental funds for developing and ensuring access to important resources

We have been hearing from a number of health provider, first responder, and social service organizations that have been struggling to keep up with the resource needs of our communities. There is a particular need for personal protective equipment (PPE). We are urging for a considerable surge in funding to ensure that we have enough masks, hospital beds, ventilators, and other important equipment to care for COVID-19 patients and protect our health care workers and first responders properly.


Support to small businesses

While we continue to work to educate our community about the opportunities through the SBA disaster loan program, we are looking at further actions we can take to support our small businesses. We thank the business leaders who have been in touch with us over the past few days. Here are some of the ideas that we are considering.


  • No-interest loans and more flexible terms
    • Currently, the interest rates for these SBA disaster loans are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. As many of these entities may see severe and prolonged impacts due to this pandemic, offering no-interest loans and more flexible terms for those businesses would be an immense help.
    • Representative Rouda has already signed a letter to SBA urging them to such actions administratively.
  • Streamlining SBA process
    • Our business leaders have asked that we take steps to streamline the SBA disaster loan process, particularly for loans under $350,000. This could include removing the requirement that small businesses show that they cannot access credit from other sources before receiving a SBA disaster loan.
  • Supporting minority-owned businesses
    • We are concerned that minority-owned businesses, especially in the AAPI community, are being hit particularly hard by this crisis. We hope for the inclusion of SBA assistance specifically for minority-owned businesses.
  • Temporarily canceling payroll taxes
    • The cancellation of payroll taxes could be crucial to reducing the cost for employers who are continuing to pay employees who may not be working, as well as increasing liquidity for employers so they can respond to revenue losses.
  • Impact on the restaurant industry
    • We have been hearing the impact of this downturn on workers and trouble accessing business interruption insurance. We want to make sure that these businesses have access to the necessary assistance.
  • Employee retention tax credits
    • In prior disaster relief packages, Congress has approved employee retention tax credits to help businesses most affected by the disaster retain their workforce and continue to make payroll. We hope to provide an employer credit equal to a percentage of a specific amount of wages paid to each eligible employee.
  • Encouraging Small Business Innovation Act
    • The Congressman’s first bill, H.R. 206, would expand and revise certain requirements to improve opportunities to participate in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. While this bill passed the House by voice vote in January 2019, it has not advanced in the Senate. This vehicle could be an opportunity to enhance access to these programs for many small businesses across the United States.


Support for severely impacted industries

Representative Rouda is deeply concerned about the communities and businesses that have been devastated by the spread of COVID-19. For example, he signed a letter to House leadership urging the inclusion of proposals that will assist the workers and businesses in the travel and tourism industry, which are vital to our nation’s economy. We will continue to advocate for stimulus and relief for these businesses and workers.


Additional financial assistance and protections for workers

While the second COVID-19 package, which passed the Senate today, included several provisions to support workers and their families like paid leave protections and enhanced unemployment insurance, Representative Rouda hopes for further provisions to provide economic relief for American workers impacted by this pandemic. In addition to direct assistance and enhanced paid leave and unemployment insurance provisions, we are also looking at ways to eliminate government penalties for access capital in certain accounts.


Child care for health care workers and first responders

As many health care workers and first responders are struggling to manage their critical work and taking care of their children with sudden school closures, we are considering the inclusion of a refundable tax credit for these families to secure child care services during this pandemic.


Eliminating penalties for retired health care workers to return to work

We want to ensure that retired health care workers that may want to return to assist with a surge in patients are not penalized from doing so. While many of these individuals may members of at-risk populations, we have heard from some of our health care administrators that many older practitioners have been willing to assist, even if that means moving to forms of care that do not involve interaction with COVID-19 patients. As such, we are considering removing barriers like suspending Social Security penalties for these individuals returning to work.


Homelessness and Housing Insecurity

It is important that we help the most vulnerable among us and ensure our current homelessness epidemic does not worsen during this pandemic. As such, we request the inclusion of at least $5 billion for programs for individuals who are homeless and at least $5 billion for addressing housing insecurity.



We have been hearing concerns regarding the GI bill, particularly the impact of changes in enrollment status from full-time to online/distance learning on housing allowances. Reps. Takano and Stefanik have introduced a bipartisan bill to ensure that these benefits can remain unchanged during emergencies like this pandemic. We support the inclusion of such language in this package.


We have also heard concerns about capacity and preparedness at VA facilities to deal with an influx of COVID-19 patients and the subsequent impact on all veteran patients. We support additional funding and other provisions that would support quality care at the VA.


Infrastructure/Jobs Package

As there may be an infrastructure component to create jobs, we are advocating for the inclusion of some of the following ideas:


  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Projects
    • Additional funds for the following accounts that are important for infrastructure projects in CA-48:
      • Civil works: Navigation (Surfside-Sunset, maintenance dredging like Newport Harbor, etc.)
      • Civil works: Flood Risk Management (Santa Ana River Mainstem, Westminster & East Garden Grove and Westminster Channel, etc.)
  • Community Development Financing Act
    • As we have seen that many of our community facilities, including health facilities, were not adequate to handle this pandemic, we would like to include language to allow Federal Home Banks to use their letters of credit to enhance tax-exempt municipal bonds. These provisions were included in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.
  • Coastal Communities Adaptation Act (H.R. 1317)
    • Grant funding for coastal communities that need to adapt to a changing climate. Additionally, in thinking about ensuring forward-thinking and built-to-last infrastructure, language from the bill would jumpstart research at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) into improved buildings and structures that account for extreme weather.
  • SMART Infrastructure Act (H.R. 4687)
    • We hope to include provisions to ensure that the federal funding provided by this bill for infrastructure is used for sustainable materials. This bill would support bidding for material procurement for these projects while preserving the authority of state and local engineers to choose the materials that work best for these projects. Additionally, it would also create an interagency task force to examine procurement practices that are an artificial barrier to competition for new and innovative materials.
  • Surface transportation
    • Robust investment in our roads, bridges, rail, and transit in line with the House Democrats’ Moving Forward framework. 
  • Clean water
    • Preventing utilities from shutting off water for individuals and communities unable to pay – ensuring the availability of safe water is essential to encouraging public health and safety (i.e. hand washing, cleaning, cooking, etc.)
    • Increased funding to ensure long-term safe drinking water treatment and delivery infrastructure (i.e. funding for utilities to remove contaminants including PFAS, replacing lead service lines, etc.)
  • Clean energy
    • Investment in clean energy infrastructure and jobs by making it cheaper to invest in clean energy infrastructure.


Incentives for Modernizing Airline Fleets

As we consider financial support for the airline industry, we are considering adding provisions to support the modernization of airline fleets, which would benefit our communities impacted by airplane noise, airlines, AND airline manufacturers. These provisions would enhance bonus depreciation incentives for the purchase of newer, cleaner, and quieter aircraft.


Telehealth expansion/reimbursement and addressing social isolation/mental health

While the first two COVID-19 bills included provisions intended to improve reimbursement for telehealth services, we are considering additional ways to enhance access to these services, especially since we are telling people to stay home even when they are mildly sick. Additionally, we hope to include supplemental funding to address social isolation and other mental health issues exacerbated by this pandemic.


Support for nonprofits/arts organizations

We have been hearing from a number of these organizations that are struggling to stay afloat due to canceled events and reduced revenue. While these organizations are already eligible for SBA disaster loans, we are interested in additional ways to support these entities, including providing supplemental funding to important agencies and grant programs like the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and National Science Foundation.


Support for local governments

Local governments have also been expressing some concerns regarding the lack of resources to address this crisis. Additionally, local governments would not receive the tax benefits that businesses would get to offset the paid leave policies that would be established by the second package. Additional funding to programs like the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) programs could help make these local governments whole.


Also, finally, please note that due to technical difficulties with WebEx, we sent around revised Dial-In info for Maestro Conferencing at 1:37pm this afternoon. Please let me know if for some reason you did not receive.  


Thank you. We look forward to speaking with you soon and hearing your thoughts, ideas and questions.