Senate Democrats have put forward another bill to boost the political prospects of embattled state Sen. Josh Newman, the target of a well-funded recall effort on the verge of qualifying for the ballot. The effort to oust Newman, D-Fullerton, began soon after his April 6 vote for a road-funding plan that will raise taxes on gas and diesel fuel and increase vehicle fees by billions of dollars. Newman, who represents an area that has long had Republican representation, won election last fall by just 2,498 votes. Kicking him out would eliminate Democrats’ two-thirds edge in the Senate – and the ability to raise taxes and put constitutional amendments on the ballot without GOP support.
Amendments to a pair of identical measures, Assembly 132 and Senate Bill 117 became public Monday, as lawmakers returned to the Capitol to begin a final four weeks of legislating. The bill is intended to revive Newman-friendly changes to election law days after the 3rd District Court of Appeal put on hold parts of another measure, Senate Bill 96, passed in June because the changes violated the state’s single-subject rule for legislation.
“To eliminate any issue as to whether the changes to recall petition procedures made by Senate Bill 96 are enacted in violation of the single subject rule, it is the intent of the Legislature to repeal those provisions and reenact them in this act, which embraces only the subject of elections,” the measure reads.