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Capitol Roundup: Wright Resigns, Brown To Sign Groundwater Bills

Nick Ut / AP

This Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014 file photo shows California state Sen. Rod Wright appears at a Los Angeles Courthouse during a hearing. Wright has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for lying about residence.

Nick Ut / AP

Wright To Resign From Senate

Suspended California Senator Rod Wright says he’s resigning from office, three days after he was convicted of perjury and voter fraud.

Wright, a Democrat, has represented Los Angeles County in the state Senate since 2008. But earlier this year, a jury found that Wright had lied about where he lived.

The California Constitution requires state lawmakers to live in the districts they represent. Wright ran for the Senate claiming an address in Inglewood, inside his district. But jurors decided Wright actually lived in a neighborhood outside his district. Last Friday, a judge finalized the jury’s conviction – and sentenced Wright to 90 days in jail.

Wright has long complained that he’s been unfairly singled out for living outside his district. Other state lawmakers have been accused of doing the same thing – but their county district attorneys chose not to prosecute them.

Wright’s resignation takes effect Monday, September 22nd. He’ll continue to earn his salary until then.

Brown To Sign Groundwater Bills Tuesday

Governor Jerry Brown will sign a package of bills Tuesday that will regulate groundwater in California for the first time.

The Legislature approved the measures on the final day of session – largely along party lines. The bills have drawn praise from environmental groups, who say state groundwater regulations are long overdue. But many farmers say the legislation was rushed and is an overreach.

Brown had not officially signaled his support for the measures, but the signing announcement comes as little surprise. His office worked with lawmakers to craft the final deal.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio