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Via Lara Korte…

About a dozen proponents of the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom gathered at the Capitol on Monday morning to oppose bill that would give incumbents fighting a recall more resources to hold on to their jobs.

Senate Bill 663, by State Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, would allow politicians facing recalls to see who signed petitions calling for their removal. Current law gives recall signers a 30-day period to withdraw their signatures, SB 663 would also extend that period to 45 days.

The bill would impact future recall efforts, but not the one aimed at Newsom that voters could see later this year.

The intent of the bill is to make sure recall signers know what they’re signing on to and give them the chance to withdraw their signature. You might recall that Newman lost his seat in 2018 recall, but reclaimed in 2020.

Opponents say his bill is an invasion of privacy and could deter people from signing recall petitions.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, only four people, including Orrin Heatlie, leader of the Newsom recall, testified in-person at a meeting of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendment Committee Monday morning. More than 40 others called in to oppose the bill, including a few who berated the lawmakers for preventing them from entering the hearing room.

“I talked to people everyday who were afraid to participate in the petition gathering process because they were afraid their personal private information would be disclosed to the target themselves,” Heatlie told lawmakers. “And they actually would… turn away from participating in the petition gathering process because they were afraid of retaliation and retribution.”

Newman said the bill is not about the Newsom recall effort, which has been “honest and straightforward” in collecting signatures. Rather, it’s designed to make sure voters are aware of what they are signing and give targets a chance to defend themselves.

“It is a fundamental tenet of the American justice system that the accused should always have the right to face his or her accusers,” Newman said. “This is what we’re endeavoring to do nothing more nothing less.”

Newman included some provisions in the bill to assuage concerns about privacy and misuse.

Recall targets would not have access to signatures, only names and addresses of signers, and would be prohibited from disclosing that information to others or using it to discriminate against a person.

The recall target would also be required to destroy all copies of the recall petition and memoranda no later than 15 days after a recall election, or if the petition is determined to be insufficient.

The bill passed out of the elections committee Monday.

BONUS RECALL WATCH: SNL again poked fun at the embattled Newsom over the weekend. Watch here.


Californian voters would support a tax on corporations to provide increased funding for homeless programs, according to a new survey released by EMC Research and commissioned by the group Bring California Home, a coalition of elected officials and advocates that includes the mayors of Los Angeles, Oakland and Sacramento, among others.

The poll of more than 1,000 likely November 2022 California voters, conducted between March 24 and March 31, found that 68% expressed support “for a policy that would reform the corporate tax code to impose a tax on business profits being shifted overseas — otherwise known as GILTI, or Global Intangible Low-Tax Income,” according to a statement released along with the survey.

More than 80% of likely voters expressed concern about people experiencing homelessness, as well as low-income and disadvantaged families finding a place to live, according to the statement.

Bring California Home is a champion of AB 71, which would tax large corporations and use the revenue for homelessness programs; that bill has a hearing in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee on April 19.

The group Bring California Home cites Los Angeles City Council Member Mark Ridley-Thomas, a supporter of AB 71, who said in a statement, “The latest polling proves that we are on the right track to end homelessness. More than 60% of surveyors agree that just as they have a right to vote and a right to an education, all Californians should have a right to housing. The onus must be on government to prevent our most vulnerable residents from falling into homelessness. We must do this with urgency and conviction.”


On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hear testimony on SB 397, authored by Sen. Brian Jones, R-Santee.

Dubbed the “Religion is Essential Act,” SB 397 would require the governor and state to treat religious services as “essential service,” subject to the same treatment and protections as other essential services. The bill also would prohibit state and local governments from enforcing health, safety or occupancy requirements that impose a “substantial burden” on said religious services.

“Twice within the last few months the highest court in the land has had to step in and protect our religious freedom here in California,” Jones said in a statement. “A strong declaration that religion is essential needs to be put into state law so Governor Newsom — and future California governors — will not so easily side-step and undermine our constitutional right to religious freedom.”

The bill is sponsored by the California Family Council, Real Impact, the Capitol Resource Institute and the Judeo-Christian Caucus.

Ahead of the bill’s 1:30 p.m. hearing, a group of lawmakers, religious leaders and constitutional attorneys will gather at 11:30 a.m. on the north steps of the Capitol to offer their support for the legislation.


“At 31 years old, you’re not supposed to be told you have cancer. Fortunately, I had one of the easiest types of cancers to treat and cure. But not everybody has that same diagnosis. I hope my story can be an encouragement to those battling cancer. Keep fighting.”

Sen. Brian Jones, R-Santee, via Twitter.

Best of the Bee:

Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for the Sacramento Bee. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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