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California state leaders: Allow virtual participation in public hearings for all Californians

State Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas. Photo: Speaker of the Assembly Office.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state legislature enacted new processes that allow Californians to participate in legislative hearings by phone. During public comment, constituents can share their support for or opposition to bills under discussion, a process known as “me too’s.” Californians across the state have an opportunity to participate in the legislative process and make their voices heard, some for the first time.

The California State Senate and Assembly have eliminated remote access to hearings in the 2024-25 legislative season. The in-person requirements to share a “me-too” in legislative hearings favor paid lobbyists based in Sacramento. All Californians should be able to make their voices heard on legislation that will affect their lives — no matter where they live in the state.

Thousands of Californians have sent in letters to Senate and Assembly leadership urging them to reinstate virtual access to all hearings. Stay tuned for a decision!