Calif. lawmakers set to return as coronavirus lingers

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Some California lawmakers are preparing to return to the Capitol after more than a month away because of the coronavirus.

It’s the first sustained legislative activity since lawmakers recessed on March 16. Some lawmakers will be staying home.

Assemblyman Bill Quirk is 73 years old, lives in a retirement community and says many of his neighbors are in ill health. He said he has asked Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to let him participate remotely. But Rendon said the state constitution won’t allow it.

In a Saturday statement, Assemblymember Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, said the state has flattened its coronavirus curve, but noted, “the crisis isn’t over.”

“As state representatives, we have a responsibility to continue steering California through the pandemic and into recovery,” Gloria said. “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.”

The California Assembly has scheduled nine committee hearings this week.

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