Bill Emmerson


Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
November 18, 2013

Election officials in Riverside and San Bernardino counties estimated Monday that it will cost at least $1.1 million to hold a stand-alone special election next year to fill the vacancy created by the surprise resignation of state Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-Redlands.

The state hasn’t covered counties’ special election costs since 2007. Earlier this year, Emmerson carried a bill to require the state to reimburse counties but it stalled in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“Fiscal uncertainty is a reality for government agencies and these unplanned and unfunded elections are an immense burden on the budgeting process,” Emmerson said in a committee analysis of the measure.

Emmerson’s resignation takes effect Dec. 1. After that, Gov. Jerry Brown will call a special election to fill the vacancy in the 23rd Senate District. Given the calendar, it’s likely that there will be a stand-alone special primary election in March or April and the special general election will be consolidated with the June 3, 2014 statewide primary ballot.

Emmerson’s resignation continues the special election travails of San Bernardino County, which sponsored Emmerson’s reimbursement measure, Senate Bill 519.

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