Senate Republicans Move to Protect Schools from Frivolous Lawsuits during Health Crisis

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

SACRAMENTO – Republican Senator Brian Dahle (Bieber) requested a motion to withdraw Assembly Bill 1384 from the Senate Judiciary Committee in order to allow the California State Senate members to engage in a full discussion on whether schools should be provided with liability protection during the current COVID-19 emergency order. Members of the California State Senate Republican Caucus voted in support of Senator Dahle’s motion. Click here to listen to Senator Dahle’s speech.

Co-authored by Republican Senator Andreas Borgeas (Fresno), AB 1384 would provide liability protection for school districts during this historic health crisis. Senate Democrats and several of the bill’s authors who are also Democrats purposely voted against holding a discussion or providing California schools with liability insurance. In essence, California school districts may have their budgets greatly impacted, which could lead to layoffs and more program reductions, as they now have to deal with another avoidable budget crisis.

“Schools, primarily in rural areas, don’t have the infrastructure to provide distance learning, which hurts students’ ability to learn. Many of the schools throughout my district are grappling with opening for in-person instruction, and one of the sticking points is liability insurance. Assembly Bill 1384 would provide schools with that protection, but it is currently stuck in the Senate Judiciary Committee. That needs to change,” said Senator Dahle.

“When schools reopen they should do so without the cloud of lawsuits looming overhead. Legal protections for schools and businesses should be legislatively created for the duration of the state of emergency so long as they are in compliance with state and local health rules,” said Senator Borgeas.