Legislative Update

View the legislative bills report here. (updated 7/10/2020)

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2020-21 May Revision Joint Analysis

July 10, 2020

Legislature Return Postponed to July 27

After approving the 2020–21 State Budget package and meeting the house of origin deadline, the Assembly and Senate adjourned for their summer recess. While both houses were originally slated to return this upcoming Monday, July 13, legislative leadership announced earlier this week that they were postponing their return date after finding out that at least six people who work in the Capitol, including two Assemblymembers, have tested positive for COVID-19.

On Thursday morning, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) released a joint statement saying that session will now resume on Monday, July 27, in order for the Capitol to undergo a deep cleaning and minimize potential COVID-19 exposure to members, staff, and visitors.

This means that once again the Legislature will have to modify and condense its legislative calendar in order to meet constitutional deadlines that cannot be waived. With approximately 700 bills still left to consider, the first looming deadline is July 31, when bills with fiscal effects are supposed to be approved in policy committee; however, this is a legislative deadline that can be changed. The big deadline is August 31, which is considered the last day of the legislative session. The California Constitution states that no bill can be approved by either house on or after September 1, with the exception of a special session called by the Governor, statutes calling for elections, bills that levy taxes or appropriations, urgency measures, and bills vetoed by the Governor. The final constitutional drop-dead date for the Legislature to consider any measure that meet the August 31 exemption described above is November 30, 2020.

Senate Democrats Introduce $430 Billion COVID-19 Education Relief Bill

Last week, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), introduced the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act, a $430 billion stimulus package, which looks to build on the educational investments from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27. The bill would provide the following investments for education:

  • $345 billion into the Education Stabilization Fund, which was established under the CARES Act), including:
    • $132 billion to help colleges and universities deliver education, implement public health protocols, and provide emergency financial aid to students for expenses like food, housing, child care, and technology
    • $175 billion for K–12 schools
    • $33 billion for a Governor’s Fund to allocate funds for needed educational services to areas of their states hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis
  • $50 billion for a Child Care Stabilization Fund
  • $4 billion for career, technical, adult education, and training 

Senate Democrats introduced this bill after the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made it clear that they were not going to consider the $3 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act passed by the Democratic controlled U.S. House of Representatives in mid-May. However, Senator McConnell recently did say that the Senate would consider another COVID-19 relief package aimed at “kids, jobs, and healthcare,” when the Senate returns from its recess on July 20, but provided few details beyond that statement.

We know the $430 billion proposal by Senate Democrats will not be the final product if and when the Senate approves an additional relief package, but it is a blueprint that the Democrats can work from as they negotiate with their Republican colleagues.

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