Politics & Government

The Buzz: Member of California Assembly to run for soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat

Republican state Sen. Bill Emmerson’s surprise announcement Friday that he was resigning Dec. 1 has created an unexpected opportunity for would-be senators.

First out of the gate is Assemblyman Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, whose 40th Assembly District includes about half of Emmerson’s 23rd Senate District. Morrell said he has been lining up endorsements and plans to announce his candidacy today. “Everything looks like a go,” Morrell said Monday.

The Senate vacancy presents a possible political stroke of luck for Democrats who think they have a shot at picking up Morrell’s Assembly seat. Morrell won re-election in 2012 by only 1,018 votes. Since then, Democrats have expanded their registration edge in that district. If Morrell moves on to the Senate, his old Assembly district may be easier for the Democrats to secure.

Another prominent official in the Senate district, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, announced last week that he was running for governor. A Donnelly aide ruled out a Senate candidacy. “Tim is in the Guv’s race to win it,” spokeswoman Jennifer Kerns tweeted.

– Jim Miller


The deficit in California’s Unemployment Insurance Fund will be $9.7 billion by the end of 2013, down slightly from $10.2 billion in 2012, according to a report from the state Employment Development Department. The fund is still paying out more in benefits than employers are paying into the fund, but other revenue, including earnings on fund balances, have helped reduce the shortfall. The report predicts that the fund’s imbalance will continue to shrink as employment improves and insurance benefit payouts drop.

– Dan Walters


“There is a difference between the criminal proceeding and my responsibilities as Senate leader.”

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, on NBC4’s “News Conference,” discussing his decision to remove scandal-tarred Sen. Ron Calderon from his committees.