Assembly Set to Return to Sacramento on Monday, Senate Delays One Week

The California State Assembly will return to Sacramento on Monday, May 4 following an unprecedented joint recess due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senate was also scheduled to return on Monday, but Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins indicated the Senate will instead return to Sacramento on Monday, May 11.

Recall, legislative leaders once already extended their joint recesses in early April with a scheduled return to Sacramento on May 4. Upon their return to Sacramento, lawmakers will face a significantly abbreviated legislative and budget process with a series of upcoming deadlines, including the June 15 constitutional deadline to pass a state budget.

Policy committee hearings will take a significantly different form, marked by location changes (including using the Assembly Chamber), limited in-person public admission, public comment via telephone, and remote witness testimony via videoconferencing. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon released this memo detailing public health measures being implemented at the Capitol, including health screening and controlled movement within the Capitol, to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 transmission.

Two COVID-19-Related Hearings to Occur Next Week

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate and Assembly will be convening two hearings next week to assess various impacts of the current emergency.

The Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services will hold an informational hearing on Monday, May 4 at 10:00 am on critical health and human services issues related to the COVID-19 crisis. The hearing will feature two panels that will examine the future of California’s health care workforce and how safety net programs are responding in the COVID-19 and unemployment crises.

The Senate Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Preparedness will also hold its first hearing on Wednesday, May 6 at 1:30 pm. At the time of this update, a hearing agenda has not yet been made public.