Threat forces California lawmakers to cancel, work elsewhere

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A “credible threat” forced California’s Assembly to cancel their Thursday session while senators evacuated to work in a new location, officials said.

State senators and their staff members were notified about the threat involving the building in an email from Senate Secretary Erika Contreras.

“The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has notified the Senate of a threat they consider to be credible involving the Capitol,” Contreras wrote. “The CHP and security partners are present in higher numbers in the Capitol area, and are alert of the situation.”

The Assembly canceled its session, said John Ferrera, chief of staff for Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry. Staffers were told to “remain situationally aware and report any suspicious activity,” said a memo from Chief Administrative Officer Lia Lopez.

The California Highway Patrol did not respond to repeated calls and emails seeking additional comment on the threat.

At the Capitol on Thursday business appeared to go on as usual, with a rally taking place outside and people walking around the park that surrounds the building. As of about 10 a.m. the public was allowed to enter the building and people, including school children, were taking tours.

Earlier some people had been turned away from entering, the Los Angeles Times reported. But the Capitol building was not placed on official lockdown, said John Casey, spokesperson for Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

Contreras said the session has been moved to another state building nearby. The session, set to start at 9 a.m., was delayed by 45 minutes. She instructed staff who had not yet arrived at work to stay home and told those already in their offices to remain in place.


Photographer Rich Pedroncelli and Associated Press writer Sophie Austin contributed.

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