Welcome to the Thursday, June 10, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- What’s next in the recall effort of California Gov. Gavin Newsom?
- Redistricting review: Illinois enacts state legislative, supreme court maps
- Legislative term explained: What is a Christmas tree bill?
What’s next in the recall effort of California Gov. Gavin Newsom?
Tuesday—June 8—was the deadline for voters who signed a petition to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to request to have their signatures removed. County election offices now have 10 business days—until June 22—to report the number of remaining signatures to the California secretary of state. If after that period, at least 1,495,709 signatures remain, the recall election will proceed to a budgeting phase. Recall organizers submitted 1,719,943 valid signatures.
According to Sacramento-based TV station KCRA-TV, the California Department of Finance will have 30 days to develop estimated costs of a recall election. Once that estimate is complete, the state’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee will review it and report back to the secretary of state’s office. After that, the lieutenant governor—Eleni Kounalakis (D)—is required to schedule a recall election between 60 and 80 days after the signatures are certified. By law, she may choose to consolidate the recall with the next regularly scheduled election if that election occurs within 180 days of certification.
These steps don’t have to take the full amount of time allotted to them; each phase could be completed sooner, which would start the time allocated to the next part of the process. This means that the recall election could occur between August and November.
A recall election would present voters with two questions. The first would ask whether Newsom should be recalled from office. The second would ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election with no majority required. Newsom was elected as California’s governor in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote.
If Newsom is recalled, his replacement would serve the remainder of his current term, which expires on Jan. 2, 2023. The next regularly scheduled election on Nov. 8, 2022, would determine the state’s next governor.
Redistricting review: Illinois enacts state legislative, supreme court maps
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed legislation on June 4 establishing new maps for the state Senate, the state House of Representatives, and the state Supreme Court. Illinois is the first state to enact new district maps in this redistricting cycle.
The General Assembly approved the redistricting plans on May 28. In both chambers, the vote split along partisan lines, with all Democrats voting ‘yea’ and all Republicans present voting ‘nay.’ Illinois is a Democratic trifecta, meaning that Democrats control the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly.
Because the U.S. Census Bureau does not expect to deliver granular redistricting data to the states until mid-August, and in light of the state constitution’s June 30 deadline for state legislative redistricting, Illinois lawmakers used population estimates from the American Community Survey to draft the new maps. The state constitution sets no deadline for congressional redistricting.
In 33 states, state legislatures play the dominant role in state legislative redistricting. Commissions draw state legislative district lines in 14 states. In three states, hybrid systems are used.
What is a Christmas tree bill?
Do you know the meaning and history of the term, Christmas tree bill? You may have seen it in news stories in recent months. I didn’t, so here’s a brief explanation.
The U.S. Senate glossary defines the term Christmas tree bill as “informal nomenclature for a bill on the Senate floor that attracts many, often unrelated, floor amendments. The amendments which adorn the bill may provide special benefits to various groups or interests.”
The first use of the term Christmas tree bill is attributed to Sen. Clinton Anderson (D), who represented New Mexico from 1949 to 1973. In 1956, Anderson used the term to refer to a farm bill with over one hundred amendments. “This bill gets more and more like a Christmas tree,” Anderson said, “there’s something in it for nearly everyone.”
Amending a bill at the end of a legislative session, or just before extended breaks or holiday recesses, can be a strategy to accelerate the approval of a bill that has broad consensus. The result is a bill that is an end-of-session catch-all for policies, regulations, and fiscal measures that would otherwise not advance.
Want to read more? Click the link below for more history, some examples, and instances of how the term is used in politics and popular culture.