State Legislature approves primary bill

first_imgThey tried to amend the bill to require reimbursement from the state, but the effort failed. Even with the state’s presidential primary in February, elections for state and congressional candidates would continue to be held in June, with the general election in November. Schwarzenegger, who is supportive of an early presidential primary, is waiting to see the final bill before deciding whether to sign it, his spokesman said. “He supports moving the California primary up so we can be more relevant in the presidential primary,” Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said before Tuesday’s vote. “As it stands now, California is an afterthought. They come here just for our money.” Feb. 5 is shaping into a new “Super Tuesday,” with more than a dozen states considering moving their primaries to that day. Primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina, as well as caucuses in Iowa and Nevada are scheduled before Feb. 5.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – The California Legislature on Tuesday sought to give the nation’s most populous state a greater voice in the race for the White House by moving the state’s presidential primary from June to February. The Assembly approved the bill 46-28, along party lines, and sent it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has said he supports the concept. The effort to move the primary has been cast by its supporters as an attempt to force presidential candidates to campaign in California, rather than merely coming to the state to raise money. “We need to do this because as long as I can remember California is basically an ATM for presidential candidates,” Assembly Charles M. Calderon, D-Whittier, said during the Assembly debate. “California is an important state in this union, and we need to be involved in who the next president of the United States is.” The assemblyman’s brother, Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Monterey Park, wrote the early primary bill. The Senate passed the bill last month on a 31-5 vote. Opponents said moving the primary to February is merely a smoke screen for the personal agendas of lawmakers who want to extend their terms. A proposed measure that would go on a February ballot would allow legislators to serve longer in their respective houses. “It’s about termed-out legislators getting one more bite at the apple to extend their time here,” said Assemblyman Doug La Malfa, R-Willows. Republicans, who are in the minority in the 80-seat chamber, opposed the measure because it does not guarantee funding for counties that would administer the additional election. A third election is expected to cost California taxpayers an additional $60 million to $90 million. last_img

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