SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Dead-of-night votes on rushed legislation are a perennial problem in the Capitol, often forcing lawmakers to vote on major issues without time to read the substance of the bills. Several attempts to give lawmakers and the public time to examine bills have failed in recent years, but a Republican lawmaker is trying again. Republican Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries of Lake Elsinore has proposed a constitutional amendment that would require bills to be public for 24 hours before the Legislature votes. Democrats argue that last-minute bills are sometimes necessary to address late-breaking issues and prevent special interest groups from killing legislation. Democratic Assemblyman Charles Calderon of Whittier said Republicans are stoking the debate over rushed bills to create a smoke screen about process when what they really oppose are the Democrats’ policies.
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