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Legislature reconvenes as hundreds of city officials gather virtually to hammer out Cal Cities legislative policy recommendations

January 13, 2021
Lawmakers returned to Sacramento Jan. 11 to kick off a new legislative session, a week later than planned due to COVID-19 concerns, and on the heels of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $227.2 billion budget proposal for FY 2021-22 released on Jan. 8.
The budget proposal calls for immediate action by the Legislature in key areas to help small businesses and low-income individuals, provide renter protections, facilitate vaccine distribution, and reopen schools.

The Legislature’s focus for the next month will be on immediate actions that can’t wait until June, when a final budget will be approved, in order to get money distributed quickly to businesses and individuals significantly impacted by the pandemic. 

From the outset, legislators and staff will be busy submitting bill requests to the Legislative Counsel by Jan. 22 to meet the Feb. 19 bill introduction deadline for the year. Assembly and Senate policy committees ramp up typically in March, but informational hearings begin early in the year. A tentative 2021 legislative calendar is available on the California Senate website.

With the Legislature’s return, the League of California Cities is ramping up its advocacy efforts for the 2021 legislative session. On Jan. 14 and Jan. 15, Cal Cities policy committees will kick off their 2021 committee meetings. All seven policy committees will meet over the two days. Each committee will be briefed on Cal Cities' 2021 Strategic Advocacy Priorities that were adopted in December 2020:
  • Secure state and federal funding for local COVID-19 public health response and economic recovery for all.
  • Secure funding to increase the supply and affordability of housing and resources to assist individuals at risk of — or already experiencing — homelessness while preserving local decision making.
  • Improve state-local coordination and planning to strengthen community disaster preparedness, resiliency, and recovery.
  • Protect and modernize critical infrastructure.
Policy committee members will also review the Governor’s proposed budget, discuss key policy issues affecting California communities, decide where to focus committee priorities this year, and develop recommendations on policy positions that will go to Cal Cities Board of Directors for consideration. This important work serves as the foundation for Cal Cities efforts at the Capitol.

To review the policy committee agendas and for information on how to observe the committee meetings, please visit Cal Cities' Policy Committee webpage.

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