Heath Flora

At least nine California lawmakers and possibly several others are at a legislative conference taking place this week at a resort in Maui despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Multiple lawmakers — including Republican Assembly members Health Flora of Ripon (San Joaquin County) and Frank Bigelow of O’Neals (Madera County) and state Sen. Andreas Borgeas, a Republican from Fresno — defended their decision to attend the conference as an opportunity to discuss how to safely reopen the economy.

Assemblyman Mike Gipson, a Democrat from Carson (Los Angeles County), told The Chronicle that Hawaii had adopted safety protocols like no other state he had seen and he wanted to bring that approach back to California.

A spokesperson for Assembly member Chad Mayes, an independent from Yucca Valley in San Bernardino County, confirmed he was in Hawaii, as first reported by Politico, but declined to discuss why he decided to attend this year amid the pandemic. Sen. Bill Dodd, a Democrat from Napa, also confirmed his attendance.

Assembly members Blanca Rubio and Jordan Cunningham reported in financial disclosure forms filed late last month that they used campaign funds to buy four tickets to Hawaii for themselves and others.

Assembly member Wendy Carrillo, a Los Angeles Democrat who attended the conference last year, sent a tweet this week that was tagged to Kihei, Hawaii, a town near the Fairmont Kea Lani.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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