An Assembly Constitutional Amendment or ACA 25, introduced by Assembly member Kevin Mullin (D- South San Francisco), that would allow Assembly members to use remote voting, and proxy voting, among other things, when a state of emergency is declared was passed by the Assembly on a 60-13 vote last week. The measure has 28 members from both houses as co-authors of the measure. 

This measure allows the Legislature to adopt rules providing for remote and proxy voting in the event of a state of emergency is declared by the Governor or President that prevents members from being able to reach the Capitol to perform their duties. Examples of states of emergency include fire, flood, storm, insurrection, earthquake, volcanic eruption, or pandemic or other public health emergency. 

The measure also provides that if 1/5 or more of the Members of a house cannot attend a proceeding during a state of emergency because they are deceased, disabled, or missing, a quorum may be established by a majority of those Members able to attend. The measure also provides that the Legislature may temporarily fill vacant offices of Members with pro tempore members in the event that 1/5 or more of the Members of a house are deceased, disabled, or missing during a state of emergency. 

CNPA had serious concerns about another provision that has since been removed that would have restricted public access to Assembly hearings and sessions as well as the recordings of these proceedings. CNPA continues to be involved with a coalition of good government organizations to address other concerns. 

With the truncated legislative session and the June 25th deadline looming for the Legislature to place Constitutional amendments on the ballot, it may be difficult to amend ACA 25 in time to address remaining concerns before it is placed on the ballot. 

Existing law allows the legislature to amend the California Constitution, but only with approval of the voters through the initiative process. The proposed amendment must pass the Senate by June 25th in time to qualify for the November ballot and must be passed by the voters in order to take effect.