California Legislature Takes Early Recess
This week on late Monday night the California Legislature recessed until April 13th because of the coronavirus. Before they left town, the Legislature acted on two emergency measures to assist Californians and the state’s schools, most of which are closed for the foreseeable future.
In order to take up the measures, the Governor wrote a letter to the Legislature asking they take action and the Legislature voted unanimously to suspend the 72-hour rule; bills must be in print 72 hours before they can be voted on. In short, the measures do the following:
AB 89 Budget Bill
- Appropriates $500 million from the General Fund for purposes related to the COVID-19 Proclamation of Emergency. A 72 hour written notice to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) is required before any expenditures from this appropriation.
- Allows the appropriation to be increased in $50 million increments up to a total not to exceed $1 billion, with a 72-hour notice to the JLBC.
Expected expenditures include, but not limited to:
• Leasing and activating two hospitals;
• Providing hotel beds for people experiencing homelessness;
• Supporting local governments to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the homeless population;
• Acquiring hospital and public health surge equipment;
• Assisting hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities manage the crisis;
• Cleaning of child care facilities, so they remain open; and
• Funding IHSS/APS strike teams to support senior isolation.
- Appropriates $84 million for Camp Fire tree removal cleanup costs. This wildfire emergency-related action has been expected to be part of any “early budget action,” but is not related to the COVID-19 crisis.
AB 117 Education Trailer Bill
- Provides statutory changes needed to implement the Governor’s education executive order, specifically:
- Appropriates $100 million Proposition 98 General Fund for local educational agencies to purchase protective equipment and supplies and labor related to cleaning school sites. The money will be allocated by ADA. School sites will receive no less than $250.
- Makes a variety of statutory changes to ensure that local educational agencies continue to receive funding for a full school year, regardless of closures due to COVID-19. This includes apportionments made based on average daily attendance, funding for the Afterschool Education and Safety Program, and the waiver of penalties related to instructional days and minute requirements.
- Provides time extensions for student assessments and a variety of other educational needs.
To view these measures go to www.http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov
Additionally, the California Department of Education has issued guidance around the measures. You can find it at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/guidance.asp
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