Governor Gavin Newsom

Healthy Fresno County Facebook Page

Last week, Fresno County businesses celebrated that the county had advanced into the red, less restrictive tier of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan. Then, this past Tuesday, they learned that they may be forced to close back up again, as early as next week, if the county’s case rate doesn’t improve. A Kern County administrator warned the same could happen to its residents if they let their guard down too soon.

Kern County Television Youtube Channel

Earlier this week, the Kern County Board of Supervisors voted to challenge a part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to reopen counties during the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing a data algorithm unfairly penalizes the county.

County of Kern Facebook page

 

Over the last few weeks, the local COVID-19 landscape has changed dramatically. In the San Joaquin Valley, average daily cases have dropped to a fraction of what they were in late July and early August, and hospitals are regaining the beds necessary for their normal, non-COVID volume of patients. Dozens of people are still dying of the virus each week, however, and health officials are on high alert for bumps in cases associated with Labor Day festivities.

Gavin Newsom Facebook page

In the past week, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered bars, restaurants, movie theaters and other businesses to close their indoor operations in 19 California counties—five of which are here in the San Joaquin Valley. But as we’ve learned with this rapidly-evolving situation, that’s not all that’s changed in the last week. For a closer look at what’s been happening in our seven-county coverage area of the Valley, we bring you this update for the week of June 26-July 3, 2020.

Govenor Gavin Newsom Facebook

Many people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, but some have found assistance through a multi-million dollar state government program called Expanded Subsidized Employment, or ESE. However, Governor Gavin Newsom’s revised budget proposal cuts the funding to that program. 

Screenshot OnwardCa.org

Bitwise Industries got a shout-out from Governor Gavin Newsom Thursday as he announced relief for small businesses. The Fresno-based tech company is creating a resource for those laid off due to the pandemic: OnwardCa.org

Kathleen Schock / Valley Public Radio

Governor Gavin Newsom stopped in Fresno on Wednesday to promote his proposed $1.4 billion plan to tackle homelessness, which includes $11.5 million in emergency grants for Fresno County. 

Speaking at a mental health crisis facility in Southeast Fresno, Newsom said the grants, to be disbursed within the next few weeks, are intended to go toward financial assistance for housing as well as emergency trailers and tents.

Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed 2020-2021 budget on Friday, a $222 billion package encompassing homelessness, affordable health care and criminal justice reform.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Governor Gavin Newsom highlighted the state’s economic wins today in his keynote address at the California Economic Summit in downtown Fresno, citing big investments in regional education. 

Economic growth, he said, tends to happen along the coast and is not shared statewide. 

Lindsay Fox, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

A Tulare County resident is the second person to die in California from a vaping-related illness. Dr. Karen Haught, Tulare County’s Public Health Official, says the man who died Saturday had been in the  hospital with respiratory problems. He had a history of vaping and smoking.

“The CDC has suggested that people not vape because of these risks, they’re unknown, it’s too dangerous, and I would say the same thing,” Haught told Valley Public Radio.

California High-Speed Rail Authority

This week, California lawmakers began honing in on a plan that would divert money away from high-speed rail, and instead fund transportation projects in major hubs like the Bay Area and Southern California. Los Angeles Times National Correspondent Ralph Vartabedian has been covering the bullet train’s development. He says this plan is a response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement that high-speed rail will only cover the San Joaquin Valley. 

 

Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times (pool)

An oil seep in Western Kern County has now grown to more than a million gallons in size. On Wednesday, for the first time since the spill was reported, Governor Gavin Newsom paid a visit to the site near the community of McKittrick.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Governor Gavin signed a historic water bill into law on Wednesday morning, and he chose to sign it in a rural community outside Fresno.

Newsom was joined by local residents, environmental advocates, and legislators as he signed Senate Bill 200, which creates a long-term fund to support the more than 300 California communities that lack safe drinking water. “The idea that we’re living in a state with a million people that don’t have access to clean, safe, affordable drinking water is a disgrace,” Newsom said during the event.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

A state senate committee is set to vote on a bill today that would address safe and affordable drinking water throughout California, a goal Governor Gavin Newsom has also prioritized in his proposed budget. Still to be decided is how to fund it.