New Maps, New Building, New Bills Greet California Lawmakers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers returned to the state Capitol on Monday to begin an eight-month session in an election year, shaded by uncertainty but buoyed by a second consecutive year of massive budget surpluses.

They hurried to introduce proposed legislation to be considered in coming months, while dodging protestors upset with pending coronavirus regulations. They face a busy first month, with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pending budget address and a month’s-end deadline to consider some legislation left over from last year.

“It’s like the first day of school” was one of the conversational themes Republican Sen. Brian Jones said he heard, while the other was “we’re going to have some growing pains.”

Legislators are now temporarily housed in a new $424 million office building a few blocks from the Capitol while their old offices in the attached Annex are razed and replaced.

And lawmakers will run in new legislative districts in the June primary and November general elections after boundary lines were redrawn based on the 2020 census.

Across the Rotunda, the Assembly’s first session was marred by a faulty microphone system that helped delay the start for 35 minutes.

“I’m having flashbacks to my DJ days,” quipped Speaker pro Tempore Kevin Mullin as he repeatedly tested whether the microphone was working.

Lawmakers milled about the floor wearing masks, some bearing political messages. Lawmakers handed out fist bumps and hugs while posing for long-arm selfies. Some huddled to discuss who was running for what seats in the redrawn districts.

Returning lawmakers immediately began unveiling new legislation they intend to seek in the new year.

Sen. Anthony Portantino proposed changing the way funding is doled out to K-12 schools with SB830, adding an estimated $3 billion to K-12 funding based on enrollment numbers rather than attendance numbers. California is one of six states that does not consider enrollment for its education funding, Portantino said, along with Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

Sen. Josh Newman introduced a proposal to change the state’s recall process, months after Gov. Gavin Newsom survived an effort to remove him in mid-term. Newman himself was recalled in 2018 before regaining his seat two years later.

Newman’s constitutional amendment, SCA6, would replace a recalled governor with the lieutenant governor. It would allow the governor to appoint replacements for other recalled constitutional officers, with legislative confirmation. A recalled state legislator would be replaced through a special election at a later date.

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Comments

  1. Remember the Steam Whistle on the old choo choo trains.

    Well the RDP (radicalized Democrat Party) rammed down the throats of the voters of Calif. in 2021. They are depending on the momentum of their dictatorship to do more damage to you.

    Remember with the voter registration it is a good bet you voted for this Socialist Dictatorship.

    Are you going to allow this to continue?

    If so you are dumber then a granite stone.

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