By Nicole Nixon and Scott Rodd
Hours after approving emergency legislation to spend up to $1.1 billion to address the coronavirus crisis, California lawmakers suspended their legislative session until mid-April.
“Even though we may not physically be in the Capitol, we will continue working in our districts to serve our constituents,” said Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego. “We will be prepared on a moment’s notice to return to address any urgent action.”
The recess extends until April 13, though legislative leaders can either extend it or cut it short.
Before recessing, lawmakers unanimously approved two spending bills to deal with the coronavirus. The first allocates $500 million and allows for additional increments of $50 million, up to $1 billion. The money will be used to lease and activate hospitals, provide hotel beds for unsheltered people and aid health care facilities and local governments.
A separate measure would funnel $100 million to schools for protective equipment and sanitation.
Also Monday, Newsom issued an executive order allowing local governments to suspend evictions and slow foreclosures for people affected by the virus.
“People shouldn’t lose or be forced out of their home because of the spread of COVID-19,” he said. “Over the next few weeks, everyone will have to make sacrifices – but a place to live shouldn’t be one of them.”
A separate executive order allows state agencies to direct staff and resources toward hospitals and nursing homes.
During a Facebook livestream, Newsom discouraged any social gatherings and announced he was adding gyms, movie theaters and restaurants — unless they can focus on takeout and delivery — to the list of public places that should close.
“We think it’s very rational under these circumstances — disruptive, I know, for some — but rational,” he said.
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