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Lawmaker-residency bill dropped until 2012

Less than 24 hours after the bill was set for its first hearing, legislation to protect California lawmakers from charges of living outside their districts was pulled for the year.

The measure, introduced only days before the Legislature is set to adjourn for the year, came less than a year after Sen. Rod Wright (D-Inglewood) was indicted on charges about lying about where he lived when he ran for office. Wright is fighting the accusation. 

Ethan Jones, chief consultant for the Assembly Elections Committee, said nothing in AB 1413 was written to apply retroactively to Wright or "anything that is already pending."

After The Times reported on the legislation, California Common Cause spokesman Phillip Ung called on lawmakers to delay action on the measure, condemning "these end-of-the-year cloak-and-dagger tactics to make substantial changes to state law without proper public deliberation and input."

Jones said the bill was being held until 2012 in connection with other provisions in the measure that apply to California's new "open primary" system, which allows the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, to advance to the general election.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento

 
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