by ERIC DOWDY, CHIEF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS OFFICER, LEADINGAGE CALIFORNIA
Since Governor Gavin Newsom issued the declaration of emergency on March 4, 2020 and the subsequent stay-at-home order, the COVID-19 pandemic has consumed all areas of life, including state government.
The administration has ramped up its pandemic response, and agencies like Health & Human Services and its departments of public health, social services, among others have been working overtime issuing guidance to licensees and the general public. Since the pandemic began, CDPH has issued 31 AFLs and CDSS has issued 19 PINs, not counting myriad of guidance documents released from CMS, CDC, and HUD.
However, the Legislative and Judicial branches have been adjourned, or hearing only the most crucial cases, respectively. Most of the Capitol building remains closed and testimony is largely delivered remotely. The first order of business is to pass the budget by the constitutionally mandated June 15th deadline. It is widely expected that the Legislature will pass a “workload” budget which will not contain any program augmentations. There may be another look at the budget in August once the state has a better grasp on what tax revenues it received after the extended tax deadline. No one is expecting any new spending in the near future as the pandemic has already triggered a recession, the extent of which is not fully known at this time.
The Legislature is currently crafting bills to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in areas that need either short- or long-term changes in the law.
The bills listed on the right have been amended to address some issues related to the virus.
We value our members and the tremendous work that has been done to keep older Californians safe during this pandemic. Despite the lack of rapid-results testing and personal protective equipment, the staff in our member communities all consistently demonstrate their impeccable level of professionalism, dedication and commitment to older adults. The recovery before us will likely be a long one, but if the remarkable amount of collaboration we have already seen persists, we will come back quickly and in a strong position.