Republicans boycott state Senate budget hearing
When the state Senate budget committee convenes Thursday, not a single Republican will be there. All five of them will be boycotting the hearing to protest what they call a lack of transparency in the budget process.
Republicans say Democrats failed to make budget legislation available for public review far enough in advance of Thursday's hearing.
"We can’t in good conscience vote for bills we have not seen,” Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Hemet) said in a statement. In a letter, Republicans asked Democrats to delay the hearing.
The lack of Republicans is unlikely to have an effect on the hearing, because Democrats were planning to advance the budget without their support anyway.
Senate Budget Chairman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) called the Republicans' boycott "unnecessary and unfortunate political theater." He wondered whether they would be forgoing their pay because they won't be at the hearing.
Leno said staff members have been working around the clock to prepare budget legislation.
— Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: Senate Budget Chairman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), right, questions an administration official during a Capitol hearing last year. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press