Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Member/Alternates Only Meeting
Virtual meeting via ZOOM
Present: Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Mike Burrows, Rachelle Bussell, Mark Cloud, Ken Coate, Louis Goodwin, Otis Greer, Fran Inman, Jay Jimenez, Lowell King, Pam Langford, Temetry Lindsey, Dan Little, P.T. McEwen, John Mirau, Dan Murphy, Vikki Ostermann, Bansree Parikh, Steve PonTell, Catherine Pritchett, Thomas Rice, Michael Rivera, Dan Roberts, Elizabeth Romero, Dan Schenkel, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff, Sol Teh, Lupe Valdez, Pete Van Helden, Ray Wolfe and Frank Zabaleta.
Guests: Megan Barajas, Mark Gibbs, Juan Herrera and Tom Nightingale.
Announcements: 1) Staff is closely monitoring AB 2570 (Stone) which has now moved to the Senate. A letter of opposition will be sent when the bill moves out of House Rules. The Inland Action Legislative Committee is currently reviewing SB 972 (Skinner) Corporation taxes: disclosure. 2) An Inland Leaders lunch will be held tomorrow via Zoom. 3) The meeting next week is for the Executive Committee only.
Motion by K. Scott/Second by R. Wolfe/Passed: Minutes from June 16, 2020
Louis Goodwin, Chair presiding. Participants introduced themselves.
The legislature returned to the capitol in May with new protocols, including limited contact with each other. In the past, 3-5 hearings were held at the same time. They have been reduced to 1 hearing lasting no more than 6 hours. Due to COVID-19 both houses were asked to reduce or eliminate pending bills. The Senate reduced their pending bills from 682 to 163 and the Assembly went from 1,541 to 398. There have been further reductions since review by the appropriations committee. As the legislature was reducing bills the Governor jumped in with “both feet” and introduced 19 budget trailer bills. Senator Roth expressed great concern as there has not been any policy discussion, and little can be done to de-rail trailer bills. He discussed a proposed change to the family leave policy reducing the business threshold of employees down to 1. If passed, the change would adversely affect all small businesses.
The Governor’s budget initially estimated a $54.3B deficit due to the corona virus pandemic. Senator Roth has been focused on preserving funding for schools, medicine, and behavioral health. Money from the “rainy-day” fund and “safety net” reserves will be used to keep critical programs operational. Budget hearings have been dramatically reduced and the public, who are no longer allowed to appear in person, are commenting by phone. Both houses worked together and have agreed to a State spending plan that avoids a good deal of permanent cuts to public schools and health care programs but imposes pay cuts to state workers and other programs. State workers will have wage increases suspended, and furloughs will be imposed totaling $2.8B.
The final budget vote will be conducted this Thursday. An accurate assessment of the state reserves will be unknown until after July when taxes are due. At that time, the spending plan is likely to change.
Sacramento has been a very busy place given the limit on bills, a compressed schedule, limitations on hearings and gatherings and dramatic reductions in time to discuss policy.
A Q & A period followed.
The speaker was excused at 9:03 a.m.
Cole Huber LLP has requested that Scott Huber serve as their Alternate representative.
Motion by J. Mirau/Second by F. Inman/Passed: Scott Huber will serve as the Alternate member for Cole Huber, LLP.
Meeting adjourned at 9:05 a.m.