California Legislature Reconvenes
The California Legislature’s summer recess was extended by 14 days as a result of Assembly Members and staff being positive for COVID-19. The Legislature is scheduled to return July 27, 2020 with safety protocols in place that, among other things, allow at-risk members to remain in their district and vote remotely during committee hearings. The Senate will require members to be present, on the Floor, during the final 2 weeks of the session. The Assembly will allow proxy voting during the Floor sessions for members who cannot return to the Capitol.
As a result of the first closure in March lawmakers were asked to limit their bills and focus on three priority areas; COVID-19, wildfires and homelessness. Once again, as a result of the second closure, lawmakers have been asked to reduce their already reduced bill package. There are still hundreds of bills awaiting a vote so the next two weeks will consist of long days, long hearings and as many bills as the legislature can possibly get through in the limited time it has.
July 31st – Last day for policy committees to hear and report bills to the fiscal committees
August 7th – Last day for policy committees to meet and report bills
August 14th – Last day for fiscal committees to meet and report bills
August 17th – Floor sessions only
August 21st – Last to amend bills on the Floor
August 31st – Last day for each house to pass bills
Once the legislature reconvenes, we will have a better idea of the narrow priorities that will be addressed in the short remainder of this legislative session. However, we do know that bills related to COVID-19 are still a priority for the legislature so we expect that many of those bills will proceed through the hearing process. Wildfires and homelessness are still a priority for the legislature as is police reform, but we may see the overall number of those priority bills decrease for this session with the expectation that they will address them in the next legislative session.