As I’ve written here before, California governors keep getting more and more powerful. But that shouldn’t mean the legislature is non-essential.

Unbelievably, that’s exactly what the legislature is doing, by going dark in the middle of a historic crisis. It’s been stunning to watch the California legislature put itself on the sidelines since COVID-19 hit. The legislature just extended its recess into May.

The reasoning is, of course, the desire to flatten the curve. But the legislature has real work to do during this time of year. And in a crisis, the legislature could still be doing its legislative work and holding hearings remotely.

But it’s not. In effect, legislators are doing less than California schoolchildren, who are being made to do their lessons remotely, despite a lack of technological infrastructure, and with many of their teachers struggling to manage their own families. How on earth did we get to a point where parents must serve as homeschool teachers even as they do their jobs, while the legislature stands in recess?

It’s time for the legislature to get online and get back to work.