Capitol Alert

‘I am sorry’: Assemblyman drops effort to end communist ban in California government

California Assembly approves bill protecting communists from being fired by state

The state Assembly voted Monday, May 8, 2017 to approve a bill that would eliminate Cold War-era language that allows California to fire any state worker who is a member of the Communist Party. In this clip, Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, intro
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The state Assembly voted Monday, May 8, 2017 to approve a bill that would eliminate Cold War-era language that allows California to fire any state worker who is a member of the Communist Party. In this clip, Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, intro

Under pressure from California’s large Vietnamese community, Assemblyman Rob Bonta has pulled a bill to repeal a Red Scare-era law allowing California governments to fire public employees for being communists.

The Alameda Democrat said he introduced Assembly Bill 22 this session to “clean up” unconstitutional statutory language that made membership in the Communist Party a fireable offense for California public employees. But it generated intense controversy when it came up for a vote on the Assembly floor last week, where several members rose to speak about the pain still carried by constituents who fled the communist regime in Vietnam.

“Many expressed these concerns to me,” Bonta said in a statement Wednesday. “Through my conversations with veterans and members of the Vietnamese American community, I heard compelling stories of how AB 22 caused real distress and hurt for proud and honorable people. For that, I am sorry.”

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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