Good morning and welcome to the A.M. Alert!
A HIGH-PROFILE RESIGNATION
Another Assembly Democrat is leaving office.
Fairfield Democratic Assemblyman Jim Frazier announced Wednesday that he is resigning from office at the end of the year to pursue work in the transportation sector.
Frazier, who serves as chair of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee, first joined the Legislature in 2012, where he made transportation a major legislative priority, according to his Assembly biography.
“This is the best job that I have ever had. I have enjoyed serving the State of California and the 11th Assembly District and greatly appreciate the confidence that my constituents have shown in me over the last nine years. I am proud of the many successes that we achieved together. My future plans are to put to use my passion and experience in the transportation sector, explore new career opportunities and spend additional time with family and friends,” Frazier said in a statement released Wednesday.
Frazier’s office pointed to his prior experience as chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, where he oversaw transportation infrastructure managing $2.3 trillion in annual commerce.
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, said in a statement that “it is always hard to lose a good, contributing member. Assemblymember Frazier has been that and more.”
“His work to get SB 1 transportation funding to the voters in 2017 was a huge effort that will have lasting benefits to California. It represented Mr. Frazier’s commitment to bring our transportation infrastructure into the 21st centuryand pay for it in a way that made sense,” Rendon said in a statement.
Frazier’s resignation follows a list of other Democrats ready to jump to their next venture. Assemblyman Marc Levine from Marin County is running for insurance commissioner. Assemblyman Rudy Salas launched a congressional campaign challenging Republican Rep. David Valadao. Assemblyman Ed Chau will be the next Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. Richard Bloom of Santa Monica is also running for L.A. Board of Supervisors, while the Bay Area’s Kevin Mullin is ditching the Assembly for a congressional bid.
Still TBD — Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who helms the powerful Appropriations Committee, could also become the next California Labor Federation executive.
CALIFORNIA POLS RESPOND TO SCOTUS ABORTION HEARING
California lawmakers, elected officials and other state figures weighed in on social media Wednesday as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about a Mississippi law that severely restricts when pregnant people can get an abortion, a case that could see the nation’s highest court overturn the historic Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal in all 50 states.
Here’s a round-up of their reactions to Wednesday’s hearing:
“Sex happens. So, abortion will still happen. 26 states could outlaw abortion if #SCOTUS decides bodily autonomy doesn’t matter. Stop punishing people.”
- Sen. Sydney Kamlager in a tweet.
“Let’s be clear: Roe v. Wade is in danger. The Mississippi case before SCOTUS today is a direct threat to abortion rights. If Roe falls, 26 states could move to ban abortion. I stand w/ my colleagues to protect reproductive freedom.”
- Sen. Josh Becker in a tweet.
“Reproductive rights are healthcare rights. Reproductive rights are women’s rights. Regardless of what #SCOTUS does, we’ll fight to protect reproductive rights here in California! #BansOffOurBodies”
- Assemblyman Miguel Santiago in a tweet.
“Roe v. Wade is at risk. In the case heard this morning at the Supreme Court, I was proud to lead a coalition of AGs urging SCOTUS to preserve the right to choose. I’m going to keep fighting to protect abortion access and reproductive freedom in California and beyond.”
- Attorney General Rob Bonta in a tweet.
“I have been pregnant, miscarried, and experienced the awesomeness of childbirth. I had to face the reality of abortion. I didn’t have to make that choice. But I know it was, and should be my choice. For my daughter, for women, don’t take away our power, our futures and our safety.”
- Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan in a tweet.
“The fate of abortion access for millions of Americans hangs in the balance -- but California will always remain a beacon of reproductive rights. We will forever stand firm in our resolve to ensure EVERYONE has access to the health care they deserve.”
- First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom in a tweet.
“National To-do List: Get vaccinated. Get your booster. Leave Women and the right to choose what’s best for their own body alone.”
- Assemblyman Isaac Bryan in a tweet.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN, SENATOR, CONGRESSWOMAN?
Sen. Sydney Kamlager, D-Los Angeles, has worn a lot of hats in her political career, but it appears she may be looking for another.
As noted by Rob Pyers, research director for the non-partisan California Target Book, Kamlager on Wednesday filed a statement of candidacy for the congressional seat currently held by Rep. Karen Bass, who is leaving that job to run for mayor of Los Angeles.
Kamlager thus far has been quiet about her political intentions, but with Wednesday’s filing it seems likely she’ll be announcing something soon.
In a Tuesday tweet, Pyers noted that Kamlager vacating her Senate District 30 seat to run for Congress gives Assemblyman Isaac Bryan, who was elected to his Assembly seat after it was vacated by Kamlager’s move to the State Senate, “a viable electoral option after his Assembly seat was carved to pieces by the redistricting commission in its current draft maps.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“CA’s large-scale testing and early detection systems have found the Omicron COVID-19 variant in California. We should assume that it’s in other states as well.There’s no reason to panic--but we should remain vigilant. That means get vaccinated. Get boosted. Wear a mask indoors.”
- Gov. Gavin Newsom, via Twitter.
Best of the Bee:
Despite the finding of a new COVID variant, California can likely avoid repeating the shutdowns it saw in 2020 if residents continue to get vaccinated and get their boosters, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday, via Lara Korte.
With the drought showing no signs of abating, California officials announced Wednesday they plan to deliver almost no water from the State Water Project to begin next year — and suggested that mandatory cutbacks in urban usage could come if conditions stay dry, via Dale Kasler.
Now the future of remote state work is taking shape as departments hammer out permanent policies and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration negotiates agreements with unions, via Wes Venteicher.