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  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. / pkitagaki@sacbee.com

    With the governor in Mexico, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will be acting governor from Sunday afternoon until Tuesday morning. Bee file photo

  • Rich Pedroncelli / AP

    Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg will act as governor part of Tuesday and part of Wednesday.

  • Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, will fill in as governor part of Wednesday.

  • Beck Diefenbach / AP

    With Gov. Jerry Brown heading to Mexico on Sunday and other office-holders preparing for out-of-state trips of their own, California will have four governors in just four days.

Next week, four governors in four days

Published: Friday, Jul. 25, 2014 - 5:41 pm
Last Modified: Friday, Jul. 25, 2014 - 11:06 pm

With Gov. Jerry Brown heading to Mexico on Sunday and other office-holders preparing for out-of-state trips of their own, it might help to consult the Constitution – or one very detailed memorandum from the governor’s office – to know exactly who is in charge of the state next week and when.

The memorandum, provided to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders Friday by Jonathan Renner, Brown’s legal affairs secretary, informs Newsom he will be acting governor from Sunday afternoon until Tuesday morning, which is routine.

But Brown will still be in Mexico when Newsom himself leaves California on Tuesday, so Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, the next in line, will act as governor until the following day.

That takes us to Wednesday, when Brown is scheduled to return. But not until later in the day – after Steinberg, too, leaves the state. In his absence, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, will fill in.

Some states have had to go even further down the chain of succession to get an acting governor.

In July 1993, then-Nevada Secretary of State Cheryl Lau became acting governor for a few hours after the governor, lieutenant governor, Senate leader, and Assembly speaker were all out of the state on vacation or traveling on state business.

In California next week, Atkins would appear to be the end of the line. A spokesman said she has no plans to leave town.


Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders. Jim Miller of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report

Read more articles by David Siders



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Note: Capitol Alert switched blog platforms in July 2014. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.


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