Calif. Assembly: Constitutional Amendment to Cut Off Public From Legislative Process During Emergencies

Does government need to be transparent?  Or could Sacramento operate with Moscow rules?  Is the Constitution.  In an emergency do the people have a right to know what the legislature is proposing and voting on?  Should the legislators be able to vote by “proxy”, stay home and give power to just a few elected officials.

The bigger shock is the proxy voting.  Congressman Kevin McCarthy and 120 congressional GOP’ers are suing to stop Pelosi and ten other Democrats the ability to control voting and legislation via proxy.  Yet, two Republicans in the Assembly are promoting this anti-democratic action—this totalitarian like action you would expect in Moscow, not Sacramento.

Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron is a principal co-=sponsor, and SLO Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham is a co-sponsored.  To see the complete list, it is at the end of the article.

Imagine while McCarthy is fighting proxies running the nation, Waldron and Cunningham are siding with the Democrats, to run government in secret.   Should Sacramento be run in secret?  NO.  Should a few proxy holders control the whole State? NO.  What do you think of this move?

Calif. Assembly: Constitutional Amendment to Cut Off Public From Legislative Process During Emergencies

Are lawmakers jealous of Gov. Newsom’s unchecked emergency powers?

By Katy Grimes, California Globe,  6/1/20 

ACA 25 puts the U.S. Constitution in a lockbox. 

Critical of Governor Gavin Newsom’s unchecked emergency powers during his declared State of Emergency and statewide lockdown, ostensibly for coronavirus, California Assembly members have authored a Constitutional Amendment to allow the California Legislature to also work in secrecy during any declared state of emergency – any kind of a state of emergency could be named.

Wildfires, mudslides, another virus – any excuse would be used to suspend the Constitution, and work in secret.

Assembly Constitutional Amendment 25 by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco), was introduced recently to allow remote attendance and proxy voting at legislative proceedings during declared states of emergency.

 “ACA 25, if adopted by the voters in November, would permit state legislators to remotely attend and vote in any official legislative proceedings, or even to vote by proxy if either the Assembly or the Senate adopts a rule to permit proxy voting,” California Globe contributor Chris Micheli reported. “Remote attendance and voting could occur during the pendency of a state-declared or a federally-declared state of emergency.”

It is surprising lawmakers are taking this approach after all of their handwringing over the governor’s unchecked powers and decision-making in secrecy during the current state of emergency. Gov. Newsom has issued more than 40 executive orders, and unilaterally changing 200 laws spanning most sections of the California code,” Assemblymen Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) and James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) explained recently.

Questions need to be asked of these lawmakers who signed on to this legislation:

  • What do you contemplate doing in secret?
  • Are you planning on doing the bidding of your special interest groups?
  • Why would anyone want a piece of legislation crafted and passed in secrecy?

This would cut everyone off from the legislative process: lobbyists and the public. Only chosen special interests would have access. Lawmakers would not have to take calls from anyone they would rather not hear from.

The bill language says:

This measure would permit Members to remotely attend and vote in a legislative proceeding, or to vote by proxy in a legislative proceeding if permitted by their house, during the pendency of a state of emergency declared by the Governor or the President of the United States, under specified conditions. The measure would provide, among other conditions, that a Member attending remotely would be included in the determination of a quorum.

This is more than a power grab, and employing the coronavirus “pandemic” does not justify this.

This is perhaps even more ironic given that the California Legislature has largely abdicated their authority and oversight of state agencies.

Agencies like the California Air Resources Board, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, the California Coastal Commission, and CalEPA are just a few of the rogue state agencies operating without any legislative oversight.

ACA 25 will be heard in the Assembly Rules Committee Wednesday. Members of the public can still Listen to this hearing or attend in person. Chris Micheli reminds us: “Constitutional amendments proposed by the Legislature require a 2/3 majority vote for passage in each house, but they are not presented to the Governor for signature.”

Notably, it is curious why Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron would sign on to this legislation as an author, why Republican Jordan Cunningham would, or any of the moderate Democrats including Assembly Rules Committee Chairman Ken Cooley.

Where is the pressure for this Constitutional Amendment coming from?

ACA 25 was Introduced by Assembly Members Mullin, Ting, Cooley, and Waldron
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Bonta, Chiu, Gipson, and Low)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Aguiar-Curry, Berman, Bloom, Cunningham, Daly, Eggman, Kalra, Levine, Nazarian, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Reyes, Luz Rivas, Blanca Rubio, Smith, and Wicks)

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Really??? says

    What the heck? Cunningham? I help elect him.

    Any Republican that cooperates with the Confederate Rebellion Party (Democrats) have to have their heads examined.

    There is little any Democrat proposal that has not destroyed any and all opposition. The Radical Democrat Party has destroyed the Green Party who they used for years.

    Sure why have to look your opposition in the eye? Want to bet the votes will eventually be hijacked?

  2. I’m afraid that many legislators will simply not pay any attention and just give their proxy votes to their buddies without ever reading the legislation. This already seems to be occurring even under the present system. But laws would still be required to be published prior to enactment with an opportunity for public comment, I hope!
    California like many other States has about 10% of legislators doing 90% of the work, with everyone else just sheeping along.Witness the havoc that Scott Weiner has been able to wreak, all by himself.

  3. Antoinette says

    I suspect there will be a mass exodus of moneyed folks. Who the heck wants to live in a state where they have no voice? I’ll sell my home and move, for sure, once I select a destination.

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