The sponsor of the recently passed Proposition 54 and his Republican backers in the Legislature tried to score some political points last week by criticizing the majority Democrats for taking up a resolution on the first day back in session.
Their objections, however, had no legal merit, Charles Munger Jr. conceded.
“Although it would be highly desirable for the Legislature to provide the public with advance notice prior to passing a resolution,” the California GOP megadonor said in an email, “Prop 54’s 72-hour requirement does not apply to a resolution that expresses an opinion but changes no laws, nor to changes to the houses of the Legislature’s internal rules.”
Voters in November overwhelmingly passed Proposition 54, which requires that a bill be available in print and online for 72 hours before the final vote in both houses of the Legislature.
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When the Senate and Assembly took up their resolutions Monday, calling on President-elect Donald Trump to change his stance on illegal immigration, Republican lawmakers complained that the language had just been introduced that morning. Munger later told a reporter that he was “disappointed” the Legislature had not given its members and the public time to think about the resolution before voting on it.
The Assembly also passed new rules that stated Proposition 54 does not apply to resolutions or constitutional amendments, because those are not “bills” that become statute.
Munger would not clarify whether he agreed with the interpretation on constitutional amendments, which advance to the ballot for public consideration if they get a two-thirds vote in both houses of the Legislature. That is now an option for Democrats after they won supermajorities in the Senate and Assembly this election.
“We’ll provide feedback on that when the Legislature reconvenes in January,” initiative spokeswoman Mary Ellen Grant said.