Senate leader Darrell Steinberg says he has seen enough. He wants to rid California of incessant special elections to fill vacancies in the Legislature. The elections interrupt the legislative process, he asserts, and they bleed local taxpayers — roughly $1 million each time some lawmaker jumps ship, which has been increasingly often. Let the governor fill vacant seats and be done with it, the Sacramento Democrat contends. If it were possible, I’d order lawmakers to stop the music, grab a seat and stay put. This musical chairs game is too expensive for the adults, the taxpayers. No more switching offices in midterm. But forbidding politicians to run for another office is probably unconstitutional. So if they do bail in midterm, just let the governor choose their replacement.
Like the governor is allowed to do when there’s a vacancy in a statewide office. Or when there’s an opening on a county board of supervisors. Or a U.S. senator quits or dies.
If there’s a vacant seat in the U.S. House delegation, the U.S. Constitution decrees that there must be a special election. But there’s no such federal mandate for replacing a state legislator. Only a state law.
“The cost of these special elections and the delays for months at a time compels us to look at different ways to fill the vacancies,” Steinberg says. “It would be much better to have the governor make the appointment.”
Full Article: Vacant seats? Let the governor fill em – latimes.com.