California lawmakers are set to hold a special session Wednesday to address the crisis, as they try to pass a budget that will help fund a $3.5 billion plan to fight the coronavirus.
But the lawmakers will have to work with Democrats in the Assembly to get it through the legislature.
A bill is scheduled to be introduced Wednesday in the state Senate by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who has pushed for a more comprehensive state response to the pandemic.
It would create a state coronaviruses response fund, a $2 billion fund that would be available to fund health-care workers who are deployed in the emergency response.
In California, there are currently more than 4,000 coronavireth infections.
In the first few weeks of the pandemics, the state reported more than 5,500 cases, according to the California Department of Public Health and Human Services.
But more cases are now expected.
The bill would create an emergency fund for workers who work in hospitals and other public facilities to help cover costs.
It also would create incentives for health- care workers to take time off for preventive health care and to avoid unsafe work environments.
Leno said the bill is designed to help those workers who need it most, but it does not require any specific time off.
He said the money could be used to pay for basic health care for those who are not covered by health insurance, such as those with pre-existing conditions.
“We’re going to make sure that we have people who are getting that care, that are going to have access to that care at no cost to taxpayers,” he said.
“It’s really important to me that we can keep that money in the pockets of the people who need that care.”
A spokesperson for Leno said he plans to bring the bill to a vote, though it could take a couple of weeks for the bill and the legislative session to work.
The state’s Democratic Assembly President, Kevin de Leon, said Wednesday he is hoping the special session will happen before the state’s November elections.
“There’s a lot of people who think that we’re going through a crisis right now, but I think we’re still recovering from this,” he told reporters.
De Leon, a retired San Francisco police sergeant, said he has been advocating for more money to be put into the state coronovirus response fund.
“I don’t think there’s a way that this bill would pass the Assembly without Democrats backing it up,” he explained.
De León said the measure will help protect workers and the public from potential health crises, and that he hopes to see more funding put into it.
He noted that many of the costs associated with the pandemia have been passed onto California taxpayers.
California is not the only state experiencing a spike in coronaviral cases.
In California, more than 300 cases have been confirmed since the start of the outbreak.
The latest case was confirmed on Tuesday in Los Angeles County.