Assemblymember Shirley Weber at a committee meeting on Tuesday. Signs behind her remind participants of social distancing requirements. Image from capitol TV

With the Senate convening on Monday, both houses of the California legislature will be open for business as the Golden State continues its gradual reopening.

“As science and data have made clear, reopening California has to be done in a thoughtful, step-by-step manner, and that has guided our decisions on when and how the Senate returns to the Capitol,” said Senate President Toni Atkins of San Diego.

Some senators will participate in the committee process remotely, but they will have to return to the Capitol to vote.

“It is true that things will be different—they have to be. Legislation will be different, the budget will be different, and the process will be different,” Atkins said.

The Assembly went back to work last week, with legislators like Shirley Weber of San Diego making arguments for new legislation through a face mask and witnesses speaking by phone or Zoom.

The two bodies adjourned on March 16 after the statewide stay-at-home order when into effect.

Assemblymember Todd Gloria, who returned to Sacramento last Monday, said the legislature’s focus will be on economic recovery from the shutdown and prevention of another wave of the pandemic.

“California has flattened the curve, but the crisis isn’t over. As state representatives, we have a responsibility to continue steering California through the pandemic and into recovery,” said Gloria, a San Diego Democrat who serves as the majority whip in the Assembly.

“I am focused on expanding our state’s testing capabilities, fixing our unemployment insurance system, ensuring essential workers have adequate protections, and ultimately that we reopen our economy safely and responsibly,” he said.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.