Bay Area Headlines: Tuesday, 7/7/20, PM | KALW

Bay Area Headlines: Tuesday, 7/7/20, PM

Jul 7, 2020

CA Sues U.S. Dept. of Ed / State Legislature Considers Rent Repayment Plan / Levi’s Crumpling But Not Folding

CA Sues U.S. Dept. of Ed

California, Michigan and three other states are suing the U.S. Department of Education over pandemic relief funds. In the lawsuit filed today, the attorneys general say the department is attempting to take pandemic relief funds away from K-12 public schools and divert them to private schools. Maine, New Mexico, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia have joined the lawsuit. They say the department’s interim final rule would allow public schools that charge tuition similar to private colleges to get funds based on the total population they serve.

State Legislature Considers Rent Repayment Plan

The California legislature has proposed a repayment plan for unpaid rent due to COVID 19. The bill — SB 1410 — proposes a voluntary relief program that would keep renters in their homes, but could cost taxpayers as much as $10 billion. State Sen. Anna Caballero, who co-authored the bill, says it’s part of an effort to stabilize the housing market.

The program would run between 2024 and 2034. During that time, tenants would make rent payments with their tax returns. In exchange, they would be protected from evictions for unpaid rent that accumulated during the pandemic. 

The agreement would also give landlords some relief, in the form of tax breaks equal to the amount of rent they are forgiving. They could also sell their tax credits for extra cash. 

The California Association of Realtors and the California Rental Housing Association oppose the bill. They say that the relief for landlords won’t cover their mortgage and maintenance costs during the 10-year period. And that selling their credits would be too complex and too risky, particularly for landlords with fewer properties.

Levi’s Crumpling But Not Folding

Levi's said, today, that it will cut 700 office jobs, or about 15% of its worldwide corporate workforce, as it deals with a sharp drop in sales due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The San Francisco-based jeans maker said the layoffs will save it about $100 million a year and won't affect workers at its stores or factories.

Like other clothing companies, Levi's had to temporarily close its stores due to the virus. Many of the department stores that sell its jeans were also shut.

Levi Strauss & Co. said its second quarter revenue sank 62% to just under half-a-billion dollars. It reported a loss of more than $360 million, after reporting a profit a year ago.

The company said most of its stores are now open and seeing sales at about 80% of where they were a year ago.