Lawmakers approve bill allowing legislature to skip review of Newsom recall election cost

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – California lawmakers sent a bill to the governor’s desk that changes the rules for his own recall election.

The action is one of many the legislature took Monday night as they officially passed the state’s spending plan.

California lawmakers Monday approved a bill that will change the rules for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s upcoming recall election, allowing the legislature to skip a review of the election’s cost, which is required by state law, so long as they provide the funds.

“Every child knows the word for changing the rules in the middle of the game (30 seconds Mr. Kiley) – it’s CHEATING,” Assm. Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, said. 

The bill provides $215 million to counties and $35 million to the Secretary of State for the cost of the election.

A date has not yet been set, but Democrats acknowledged the bill is meant to speed up the process, some have said an earlier election would favor Newsom.

“This ensures the recall happens as soon as possible, my belief is that’s what this recall is about is having the recall as soon as possible,” Assm. Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, said. 

The bill is one of a series of actions lawmakers took Monday to finalize California’s spending plan for the year.

Also passed Monday, legislation to extend the state’s ban on evictions and help eligible tenants pay off all of their back and future rent through September.

Lawmakers also approved a measure that provides another round of Golden State Stimulus Checks, $600 direct payments to about two-thirds of Californians.

Some Republicans called the budget irresponsible for not replenishing billions taken out of the state’s rainy day fund amid the pandemic. They also say not enough is going to wildfire prevention, unemployment insurance debt and water storage.

“I’m afraid this budget is not adequately tackling critical and fundamental needs that every Californian expects us to tackle,” Assm. Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, said. 

Democrats call it a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“We’re in a position to create the most responsible, most transformative, boldest state budget in modern history,” Toni Atkins, State Senate Pro Tempore D-San Diego, said. 

Once signed by the governor, the budget will go into effect July 1.

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