Senate Leader Atkins: Senate Takes Responsible Actions to Meet Unprecedented COVID-19 Challenge

March 16, 2020

SACRAMENTO – Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins on Monday issued the following statement regarding today’s Senate actions related to COVID-19:

“Today the Senate provided up to $1 billion for lifesaving care and COVID-19 prevention efforts. We also set a good example by shifting Senate activity from legislative work in the Capitol to allow us to follow public health directives while still working for the people of California. Right now no job is more important than flattening the COVID-19 curve.

“In addition to communicating with constituents and providing support, information and guidance to protect the public health on COVID-19, Senators will continue to address the crisis in housing and homelessness, wildfire prevention and response, developing a responsible state budget, and other vital issues affecting the state and the communities we serve.

“We are prepared to return to the Capitol at a moment’s notice to take any urgent action necessary as we do our part to help flatten the COVID-19 curve.”

On Monday the Senate passed:

  • SB 89, a budget bill to increase the delivery of life saving care and protect Californians during the COVID-19 health crisis. The bill provides $500 million in funding, which can be increased in $50 million increments up to a total not to exceed $1 billion. The bill’s funding will enable:
    • Leasing and activating two hospitals;
    • Providing hotel beds for people experiencing homelessness, and helping local efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the homeless population;
    • Cleaning child care facilities so they remain open;
    • Acquiring hospital and public health surge equipment;
    • Assisting hospitals and nursing homes;
    • Funding In-Home Supportive Services/Adult Protective Services strike teams to support senior isolation.
  • SB 117 to help implement Governor Newsom’s Education Order, and which will increase protective equipment, supplies, and cleaning for schools, and ensure districts will not lose expected revenue over Coronavirus-related closures.
  • SR 86, internal rules changes to provide the Senate the flexibility to function during times of emergency, including allowing for remote participation by Senators and the public.


Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins:

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