Governor Calls For Emergency Action On Votes In Response To COVID-19
Sacramento, CA — California law requires a bill to be posted publicly for 72 hours prior to a vote, but Governor Gavin Newsom is asking that the rule be waived for legislation related to the COVID-19 response.
The constitution allows the law to be waived by the Legislature at the request of the Governor. A similar action was taken in response to the Camp fire.
Newsom’s formal request is written below:
March 16, 2020
To the Members of the California State Senate and the California State Assembly:
Our state, our nation, and our world are facing a challenge unprecedented in modern times. The COVID-19 pandemic compels us all to find new ways of coming together, even as we must also seek out new ways of staying apart.
Recognizing the magnitude of this moment, on March 4, 2020, I proclaimed a state of emergency in California. In so doing, I found that the conditions set forth in Government Code, section 8558(b), had been met. Moreover, I hereby find that the declared state of emergency constitutes a state of emergency within the meaning of Article XIII B, section 3, subdivision (c), paragraph (2) of the California Constitution.
The California Constitution generally provides—in Article IV, section 8, subdivision (b), paragraph (2)—that “no bill may be passed or ultimately become a statute” unless it has been “printed, distributed to the members, and published on the Internet, in its final form, for at least 72 hours before the vote.” The Constitution further provides, however, that this 72-hour notice period “may be waived” if the Governor submits to the Legislature “a written statement that dispensing with this notice period for that bill is necessary to address a state of emergency . . . that has been declared by the Governor” within the meaning of Article XIII B, section 3, subdivision (c), paragraph (2).
Today I write to you to state the obvious: we must rise to the challenge facing our state with every tool at our disposal and without a second of delay. We cannot hesitate to meet this moment.
Accordingly, I submit to you this written statement that, to address the state of emergency I have declared, it is necessary to dispense with the 72-hour notice period set forth in Article IV, section 8, subdivision (b), paragraph (2) of the California Constitution, as to the following legislation:
In addition to addressing the state of emergency I proclaimed in connection with COVID-19 on March 4, 2020, this legislation also addresses the 2018 Camp Fire, for which a state of emergency was proclaimed on November 8, 2018.
I look forward to working with you in the weeks, days and hours ahead as we conduct the urgent business of our state.