Let us talk about priorities. Why has Sharon Quirk-Silva not re-introduced a bill for the Veteran’s Cemetery in Irvine?
Sharon Quirk-Silva introduced a bill into the Assembly for the Veteran’s Cemetery in Irvine (AB409) which never even got a vote in committee.
The (D) Super-Majority outright ignored it. Her bill was later rolled into SB96. SB96 was a budget “trailer bill” which is basically an empty bill that is passed by the Senate with one line to be “Gutted” and a new bill full of legislation to be “Amended” into it by the Assembly before coming back for a vote before both houses. It’s a procedural trick which violates the spirit of the law and the very premise of good and open government.
To complicate matters because the Cemetery was rolled into SB96 with 95 other provisions, one of which is also an appropriations item, it is unconstitutional not once but twice and once specifically owing to the provision for the Veteran’s Cemetery itself.
California State Constitution Article IV:
Section 9: “A statute shall embrace but one subject, which shall be expressed in its title. If a statute embraces a subject not expressed in its title, only the part not expressed is void. A statute may not be amended by reference to its title. A section of a statute may not be amended unless the section is re-enacted as amended.”
SB96 has 96 provisions and is titled “Government”. This practice was held to be illegal going back to Harbor v. Deukmejian (1987).
Section 12(d): “(d) No bill except the budget bill may contain more than one item of appropriation, and that for one certain, expressed purpose. Appropriations from the General Fund of the State, except appropriations for the public schools and appropriations in the budget bill and in other bills providing for appropriations related to the budget bill, are void unless passed in each house by rollcall vote entered in the journal, two-thirds of the membership concurring.”
The key item in SB96 was a change in the law around Recall elections in order to protect Senator Josh Newman who is being recalled for voting for SB1 (a massive transportation tax). He is in a vulnerable district and the (D)s seemingly want to do anything they can do protect him going so far as to change Campaign Finance rules and naming college (R)s in a lawsuit over the recall.
Once SB96 was signed into law by Jerry Brown, violating the premise of due process in an effort to shift the election rules mid-process, The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association sued owing to the Recall provisions of SB96 but their lawsuit calls into question the entirety of the law.
This is, at best, problematic for the Veteran’s Cemetery. I can find no bills which have been introduced to protect the cemetery and to legally and constitutionally codify what was originally AB409 and later rolled into SB96.
In a 14 June 2017 Press Release Sharon Quirk-Silva is quoted as saying, “I have worked to make government open and accountable to the people, and by working to gain the trust of all Californians.”.
Violating the CA State Constitution (twice!) with one issue and then ignoring it after the fact is not government that is open or accountable to the people.
Thanks to the lawsuit by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association the Third Circuit Court of Appeals put a stay on SB96. At that point the (D) Super-Majority sprinted into action to save Senator Josh Newman by taking the Recall component of SB96 and putting it into a stand-alone bill (SB117) which was quickly passed and signed by the Governor in less than 48 hours.
Out of 96 Unconstitutionally passed provisions of SB96 the one that the (D)s rushed to re-authorize which shows you their priorities.
If the (D)s cared about our Veterans and this final resting place in Irvine they would have acted to honestly and legally pass Sharon Quirk-Silva’s bill for the Veteran’s Cemetery. They did not do as such.
To further complicate this issue, Sharon Quirk-Silva takes credit for what was AB409 but she voted against it when it the actual bill came up in the Assembly as SB96.
How can she take credit for a bill that she voted against? Is she claiming that she deserves credit for authoring a bill that went nowhere until it was unconstitutionally passed as a budget “Gut-and-Amend” trailer bill? You don’t get credit for the passage of things you vote against.
From the looks of things the (D)s used a Veteran’s Cemetery to garner votes for a recall change and then dropped the final burial place for our Veterans like a hot potato the minute their actions were found to be unconstitutional. The only priority after the stay of SB96 was protecting the (D) Super-Majority in the CA Senate because they need Newman’s vote to burden you with more taxes and Newman has been all too eager to comply with the wishes of his party bosses.
I’m curious to know why the (D)s would use a cemetery for our Veterans as a political weapon and why they would ignore the issue once their dirty tricks were found out.
I just got off of the phone with the office of Assembly Woman Sharon Quirk-Silva and according to her communications director she “made the ask” to have AB409 rolled into SB96 and she voted against it owing to the Newman Recall component. When pressed on why she hadn’t introduced legislation to keep the cemetery safe there was no answer. I was told “the funding is there” and when pressed that it was there unconstitutionally I asked if the ends justify the means and the response was “is there anything else I can help you with?”. Her office can provide no answers.
For the record Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva is the reason SB96 violated the California State Constitution twice and she hasn’t introduced any bills to keep the cemetery safe because the funding is there albeit illegally.
This is what passes for “open and accountable” government in Sacramento. We deserve better.
If the Assemblywoman would like to explain these issues I’m more than happy to have her as a guest on The Hourly Struggle Podcast but I won’t hold me breath.