Senate Resumes Legislative Hearings With Extra Precautions
SACRAMENTO – Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) today released the following statement regarding the Senate’s return to the State Capitol:
“With the Senate’s Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response hearing held today, and with Senators slated to return to the Capitol on Monday, May 11, 2020 the California State Senate is continuing our efforts to conduct the people’s business in a safe, responsible, and transparent way.
“As science and data have made clear, re-opening California has to be done in a thoughtful, step-by-step manner, and that has guided our decisions on when and how the Senate returns to the Capitol. Protecting the public health and preventing a new surge of COVID-19 cases have remained key elements of our decision-making.
“Following the May 6, 2020 hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response, Senators will return to the Capitol on Monday, May 11, 2020. They will be accompanied by a strictly limited number of staff.
“In March, the Senate adopted Senate Resolution 86, which included changes to allow the body to continue working through the COVID-19 crisis. Those precautions will remain in place upon the Senate’s return. The Senate will allow for Senators who have approved accommodations to represent their constituents and participate in the Committee process remotely. At this time, remote participation does not include remote voting. However, remote voting remains a viable option for the Senate, as science, data, and public health guidelines continue to evolve.
“It is true that things will be different—they have to be. Legislation will be different, the budget will be different, and the process will be different. What remains constant is the enormous potential generated by the brilliance and resilience of the people of California, and the commitment of every Senator to do what is best for our districts, the state, and the common good.
“The Senate is returning with great purpose: getting through this crisis, addressing the harm COVID-19 has caused our constituents, our economy, and the state budget, and working on the serious chronic issues facing Californians. I am proud of my colleagues — not only for their strong sense of purpose, but also for their willingness to reduce the number of bills to allow for greater focus on the crisis, and for their insistence that the Senate put public health first as we continue with our return to the Capitol.”
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: www.senate.ca.gov/Atkin