SB 163, a bill by California State Senator Robert M. Hertzberg which would provision each registered California voter with a mail-in/absentee ballot during voting periods, passed 5-2 during today’s meeting of the California State Senate Appropriations committee. The committee took the bill out of the “suspense” file where it had been since May 4th, and voted “do pass, with amendments.”
The two Republicans on the committee, Jim Nielsen and Patricia Bates, voted “no” on the bill, while the five Democrats all voted “yes.” Those Democrats were Ricardo Lara, Jim Beall, Jerry Hill, Connie Leyva, and Tony Mendoza.
According to Wikipedia, there are 25 Democrats, 14 Republicans, and one vacancy in the California State Senate.
Once the amendments are incorporated into the official transcript of the bill, it will go to “the desk” and then to “the floor” to be considered by all 40 California State Senators.
The bill has to pass out of the Senate by June 5th, according to staff at the committee. Also according to staff, the bill’s author, California State Senator Robert M. Hertzberg, will decide when to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.
If it passes a floor vote in the Senate, it will go to the State Assembly for further consideration.
Watch Etopia News for further coverage of this bill, which would make California a de facto “vote-by-mail” state, while simultaneously demonstrating former California Assembly Speaker and current Senator Hertzberg’s continuing mastery of the legislative process in Sacramento.