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Gavin Newsom once again has the State Capitol to himself.
On Monday, the Legislature adjourned for the year. Yes, you read that correctly: As the state forces millions of people out of work and keeps their kids out of school, Legislators will get four months paid time off.
This is after the Legislature already recessed for more than 12 weeks when the State of Emergency began, allowing Newsom to entrench his one-man rule in the first place.
I’m calling for a Special Session for the Legislature to actually do what’s needed: rein in Newsom, fix the EDD, and enable schools and businesses to open. Every member of my caucus signed on to my proposal.
But the Legislature’s leaders would rather take an extended vacation while their constituents suffer untold hardships – mostly inflicted by the state itself.
They were so eager to start the four-month recess that on Monday they chillingly cut off debate on bills in the Senate. The Republican Senators, who were physically banned from the Capitol, were then muted over Zoom.
Meanwhile one Legislator attacked me in a speech on the Assembly Floor, claiming my insistence that we actually work rather than go home for the year was “a clever scheme to continue earning per diem.” Actually, I’ve declined the $40,000 per diem every year I’ve been in office.
Even if the Legislature works several more months, we’ll still have been in session for less time this year than we were supposed to be.
Ultimately it’s Gavin Newsom who has taken a sledgehammer to representative government, but the California Legislature has been his willing accomplice. It’s hard to imagine an example of elected representatives more momentously dropping the ball.
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