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Capitol Update Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Allison Olson, CFRW Advocate

Capitol Update
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

California Federation of Republican Women
Sue Blair, President

Closed for COVID-19

The California Legislature announced that it is suspending meeting until April 13th in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. It is believed that this is the first suspension of its kind in 158 years. The only other recorded instance of a legislative work stoppage was in 1862 when most of Sacramento flooded. Governor Leland Stanford took a boat to his inauguration and then the legislature reconvened a few days later in San Francisco. According the unofficial California Legislature historian, the state capitol even continued to work through the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic, when 5 legislators showed symptoms of Spanish Flu and had to be quarantined. Legislators under the age of 65 are prepared to return to work at a moment’s notice, in case of extraordinary emergency measures. Those over 65, which includes 25 of our state legislators, would presumably stay sheltered in place, per the Governor’s mandate. 


$1 Billion Approved 

Before leaving the capitol, lawmakers approved up to $1 billion in emergency spending to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The bills, SB 86, SB 89, and SB 117 were all designed to give Governor Newsom power, by the legislature, to act in the best interest of the state during this time of crisis. The legislation was overwhelmingly bipartisan, giving Governor Newsom $500 million to spend for any purpose related to his declaration of a state of emergency. The Governor can increase that spending by increments of $50 million, but he must give the legislature three day’s notice of the spending. This spending is capped at $1 billion. Lawmakers also passed legislation to keep schools funded despite their closures and allocated $100 million for hygiene safety and cleaning efforts for schools. A final bill was passed allowing the state to lease and activate two hospitals and acquire the necessary equipment to prepare for care and prevention. 


CFRW Spring Conference Postponed 

The California Federation of Republican Women’s Spring Conference has been postponed until June, tentatively. More information will be available soon. 


COVID-19 Updates 

The California Department of Public Health is providing daily facts and resources on coronavirus. CLICK HERE for more information. 

Disclaimer: The Capitol Update is an activity of the CFRW Advocate’s Office. The update is for information only. CFRW official positions on legislation are stated immediately preceding the stated legislation or immediately following the stated legislation in this report.

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