California Counts

A collaboration between Capital Public Radio, KQED, KPCC and KPBS to cover the 2016 elections in California.

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Legislative Democrats Pass House Rules That Test Prop 54

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Members of the California Assembly take the oath of office on Monday, December 5, 2016.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Normally routine votes over Senate and Assembly rules were anything but sleepy as the California Legislature convened its organizational session Monday.

Majority Democrats approved rules that Republicans criticized for ignoring the will of the voters. The rules exempt constitutional amendments and nonbinding resolutions from Proposition 54. That initiative, approved by voters last month, mandates that bills must be in print for 72 hours before final votes.

Republican megadonor and Proposition 54 proponent Charles Munger, Jr. came to watch. He says he’ll take his own 72 hours to form an opinion of the rules. But he criticized lawmakers for voting on anything on the Legislature’s opening day.

“It is unfortunate that they would choose to pass their own rules and a resolution without giving their members and the public 72 hours to think about it,” Munger told Capital Public Radio Monday.

Democratic staffers say Proposition 54 only expressly speaks to bills – which are known as statutes – and that it left constitutional amendments and resolutions unmentioned.