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Bay Area Headlines: Tuesday, 8/11/20, AM

New Expanded Unemployment Benefits / Sandra Shewry And Erica Pan Appointed To Be Calfornia's Interim Public Health Directors / Uber And Lyft Appeal Ruling To Treat Drivers As Employees

New Expanded Unemployment Benefits

President Donald Trump is proposing new expanded unemployment benefits after the weekly $600 boost expired last month. But Governor Gavin Newsom says the president’s plan won’t work in California. 

Trump signed a handful of executive orders over the weekend. One includes an extra $400 per week in unemployment benefits. States would be on the hook for a quarter of that. 

Newsom estimates that would cost California $700 million a week — a price tag the state can’t afford:

"We need the federal government to front those dollars. We simply do not have the capacity — even a state as large and well-resourced and as well-managed in terms of our reserves and our capacity to borrow — we’re simply not in that position." 

Newsom has been pushing for more federal aid to pay back schools and avoid future furloughs for state workers.

That’s become a major sticking point for Congressional Republicans, who don’t want to send more money to states and local governments.

Sandra Shewry And Erica Pan Appointed To Be Calfornia's Interim Public Health Directors

California’s top public health official abruptly resigned on Sunday.

Dr. Sonia Angell’s departure comes days after technical glitches caused a substantial undercount in statewide COVID-19 cases.

Governor Gavin Newsom was asked about her resignation at a press conference yesterday afternoon

“We accepted the resignation. Appreciated her work. We all have a role and responsibility as it relates to what happens within our respective departments. None of this is easy." 

Newsom appointed Angell in October of last year.

The state says it has cleared the backlog of nearly three-hundred-thousand uncounted cases and is helping counties update their numbers.

Sandra Shewry of the California Health Care Foundation and the current state epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan will take over Angell’s role in the interim.

Uber And Lyft Appeal Ruling To Treat Drivers As Employees

A judge has ordered ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft to treat their California drivers as employees instead of independent contractors. The ruling would guarantee protections such as overtime, sick leave, and expense reimbursement for drivers.

The ruling won't take effect right away as Uber and Lyft both said they plan to appeal to a higher court.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra praised the ruling, saying it will ensure the companies play by the rules. But the companies criticized the ruling, saying it threatens to shut them down during a pandemic-induced economic downturn that has cost millions of people their jobs.

Kevin Vance created a program of folk music for KALW, A Patchwork Quilt, in October 1991. He grew up in Berkeley during the 1960s and '70s and spent his years learning in public schools, community colleges, bookstores, libraries, and non-commercial radio stations, as well as from the people around him. When he's not on the radio, then he's selling books, taking care of his family, listening to music, entering stuff into a computer, or taking a class.