The Assembly and Senate swore in lawmakers for the first day of session on Monday. While a few legislators were allowed to be sworn in remotely, most traveled to Sacramento to attend in person, which is required under the state’s constitution. The Senate convened in the Capitol while the Assembly took over the Sacramento Kings arena to allow more room for social distancing.
Lawmakers dove straight into the Legislature’s top priorities by introducing several new bills.
Asm. Adam Gray, a moderate Democrat in Merced, called for the state to foot the costs for new COVID-19 regulations. He introduced a bill that would provide tax credits for essential and small businesses having to comply with “costly” new COVID-19 regulations.
“State regulators continue to push the costs associated with COVID-19 onto employers,” he said in a statement. “Voters soundly rejected this kind of government overreach when they defeated Prop. 15. But recently adopted Cal/OSHA regulations double-down on such schemes.”
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On the other side, Los Angeles Sen. Henry Stern has a bill that would require employers to implement contact tracing programs.
Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Andreas Borgeas introduced a bill that would expand rural broadband access. Three Democratic assemblymembers introduced yet another broadband bill, which proposes a bond measure of up to $10 million to fund the needed infrastructure.
Other legislation focuses on the public health crisis, economic recovery, wildfires and housing. The houses return to floor sessions on January 4.