Sen. Steven Glazer, the only Democrat in the Senate to vote against a gasoline tax increase last month, announced Friday that he is resigning his post as chair of a key committee at the request of President Pro Tem Kevin de León.
The move likely is punishment for Glazer’s failure to join other Senate Democrats in the vote, which angered his colleagues.
De León said Glazer agreed to resign the chairmanship of the Governmental Organization Committee, which considers gambling and liquor legislation.
“It was the right thing for him – and for our caucus,” de León said in a statement. “He’s a man of integrity, and he has a bright future in the Senate.”
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Glazer’s office declined to answer questions about the resignation.
“At your request, I am submitting my resignation as Chair of the Governmental Organization Committee, effective immediately,” Glazer, D-Orinda, wrote in a letter addressed to de León that he posted on Twitter. “I very much appreciated the opportunity to serve as chair. In taking this action, I hope to advance the best interests of the Senate.”
The decision was announced a little over a month after the vote to approve a $52 billion tax increase to improve roads. Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, is now facing a Republican-led recall effort over his support for the deal. Glazer’s refusal to vote for the deal forced Democratic leaders to lure Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Modesto, to support the bill with $500 million in incentives for his district. Without Cannella’s support, Democrats would have been one vote short of a two-thirds majority to pass the bill out of the Senate.
After the vote, Glazer said the transportation package did not have the support of his district and criticized Gov. Jerry Brown’s high-speed rail project for sucking up money that could be used for more immediate transportation needs.
Nearly two weeks after the vote, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon stripped a chairmanship from the only Democrat in his house to vote against the bill. Rendon has not addressed his reason for removing Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, from his post as the head of the Assembly’s Business and Professions Committee.