As you probably know, we typically send out updates on the status of the environmental legislative agenda on a weekly basis during the legislative session. However, these are not typical times and it feels wrong to go about business as usual when we are all so focused on the gravity of threats posed by the coronavirus, COVID-19, in our communities.
We strongly appreciate the leadership of the governor and legislative leaders in prioritizing public health and safety first and foremost. IEC stands ready to assist in their efforts.
Currently, our focus is to do our part in reducing the spread of the virus. It endangers the most vulnerable populations, including environmental justice communities whose lungs have already borne the brunt of environmental pollution for generations, and it is critical that we all take the time to mount the necessary response to protect those who need it most.
That is what is most important right now.
Part of protecting our communities has always meant fighting for policies at the state legislature that protect our environment and combat the climate crisis. So, we wanted to provide you with an honest assessment of the state of the 2020 environmental legislative agenda in the wake of COVID-19.
Given the circumstances, legislative leaders have temporarily suspended the legislative session. It is too early to tell how COVID-19 might fully impact the session and, truthfully, it is unclear when the legislature will return to conduct business, for how long, and what bills they will take up.
While this uncertainty places our 2020 legislative agenda in limbo, we will continue to fight for our environment in the long-term and we will continue to keep our commitment to keep you informed as information becomes available to us.
Executive Director, IEC