The 2019-2020 legislative session ended on August 31. During this two-year period, 5,423 bills of all types were introduced. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we had two unexpected shutdowns, and in the last weeks some members were absent and Senators were forced to vote remotely. At one point, there was an unsuccessful attempt to limit Senate debate to save time. In a normal year, the fate of much important legislation is often decided during the final few days, but this year was even more hectic.
California has already reached historic levels in acres burned - 700 fires with over 1.3 million acres burned!  As always, California’s first responders are on the job, protecting our lives, our property, our families, everything we hold dear. We owe them our cooperation, our respect and our support.
August marks a huge milestone. In 1920, women were granted the right to vote nationwide when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment. The amendment reads: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
Schools are essential and the need to educate our children is not negotiable. The 2020-21 budget package maintained school funding based on 2019-20 attendance levels, which essentially placed a funding cap on all schools, even those experiencing high levels of growth.
A major side effect of the Coronavirus pandemic is the immense impact on California’s mental health and substance use. Over 22,000 overdoses and suicides are projected to result from forced isolation and rising unemployment.  
The pandemic has thrown millions out of work and created massive problems at California’s Employment Development Department (EDD), the agency empowered to provide Unemployment Insurance (UI) to laid-off workers.
Several employees in the Capitol and 2 Assemblymembers tested positive for COVID last month which stopped our work in its tracks.  This week marks the start of a short, final month for the 2019 – 2020 session.
Citing the threat of coronavirus, both houses of the California Legislature plan to allow some members at higher risk for COVID-19 to weigh in on pending bills from their districts when the Legislature reconvenes in Sacramento next week Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron said the Legislature should not allow proxy voting until it gets approval from the voters.
The DMV has extended the time for drivers license renewals that had expired during the period of March 2020 on.  All drivers under age 69 were extended until July 31 with expanded online renewal available. Commercial license renewal extended until Sept. 30, 2020.  Learners permits from March 2020 also extended 6 months.  This is good news for many.
In California, opioid and heroin use is a major threat to public health, and is the leading cause of death for those under 50. It’s a major cause of crime, and contributes directly to high recidivism rates in our prison system.