Changes coming to new California legislative session amid the pandemic

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – With the new California legislative session starting next week, the state is making adjustments for the sake of safety as lawmakers are expected to gather in Sacramento on Monday.

The start of a new legislative session is considered essential government business, so no matter what the status is for the Greater Sacramento region, this will go on. This launch will be unlike any other this legislature has seen.

The first Assembly bell of the legislative session won’t be ringing at the State Capitol Monday.

Instead, the first roll will be called in Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center.

Citing the advanced air filtration system and extra space, Assembly leaders say the move is to keep everyone safe.

Family members and guests are not allowed to attend.

That same rule is also applied to the Senate’s first gathering, which will still happen in Senate chambers Monday after getting the green light from the health services director.

Legislative leaders say strict face mask and social distancing rules will be in place.

All members and staff are required to get tested beforehand.

Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins sent a statement Friday on the adjustments.

When Californians are changing holiday traditions and putting off graduations, weddings, and other important events, the senate wants to make sure that we are conducting this essential public business in a way that reflects the seriousness of the times and respects the sacrifices Californians are making.

Toni Atkins, Senate Pro Tem

Monday’s organizational session comes as the Greater Sacramento region inches closer to a stay-at-home order depending on the area’s intensive care unit capacity.

Legislative officials Friday said regardless of the order, Monday’s meeting is required under the California Constitution down to the date and time and an essential government function.

Monday’s event is scheduled to begin at noon.

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