California Democrats on Monday passed an election reform bill, containing new rules which could help Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) as he faces a recall election later this fall.
The Sacramento Bee reported Newsom quickly signed the measure, SB 152, which lets state officials bypass one of the steps of certifying the recall election.
Under previous law, the Department of Finance issues a cost estimate, and then the Joint Legislative Budget Committee has 30 days to review and comment on the costs.
Now the new SB 152 allows California's Secretary of State to expedite the process by avoiding the review period.
The paper reports some Democrats believe it will help Newsom defeat the recall effort if the vote is held sooner because he has recently seen a popularity boost. After relaxing his COVID rules and finally allowing the full re-opening of The Golden State this month, Newsom's approval ratings are going up.
As CBN News reported last week, Newsom, 53, will face a recall election this year after the Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber verified the 1.7 million signatures on the recall petition.
The Bee reported the recall election could cost the Golden State as much as $215 million as projected by the state's Department of Finance, which the state legislature has agreed to cover.
Four years ago, Democrats had adjusted the recall rules to help state Sen. Josh Newman's odds of surviving a recall by adding the review period they are now trying to bypass, The Bee reported.
Republicans in the state legislature criticized the move, saying Democrats were acting unfairly.
"The conclusion is inescapable that Gavin Newsom is cheating in the recall and this Legislature is his willing accomplice," said Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, who is considering running in the contest.
"We have the unprecedented circumstance where Gov. Gavin Newsom, with the stroke of a pen, will be changing California law in order to try to beat back his own recall," Kiley continued.
Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting acknowledged the bill will "ensure that this recall election happens as soon as possible" and said that's something the recall's supporters should want.
Still, candidates who are seeking to run against Newsom haven't had much time yet to put together their campaigns.