Governor Vetoes Bill to Let Noncitizens Serve on Boards

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On Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed SB-174, a bill that would have allowed legal residents and undocumented immigrants to serve on local and state boards.

According to the Governor’s veto message, he stated “This bill would open up all boards and commissions to non-citizens. I believe existing law—which requires citizenship for these forms of public service—is a better path.

The bill was introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara who claimed the bill amends an obsolete and unconstitutional 1872 law that blocked the children of Chinese immigrants from participating in civic life. According to Government Code Section 241, a citizen of California is defined as anyone born in the state, except the children of “transient aliens and of alien public ministers and consuls.”

SB 174 deletes the language about “transient aliens,” and does not change eligibility to hold elected office or vote, defined as a person over 18 who is both a resident of California and a citizen of the United States.

In August, Lara Stated:

“Immigrants are integral to California’s success, but racism and exclusion are part of our history too,” said Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). “The California Inclusion Act is fundamentally about good governance. SB 174 rejects our history of exclusion and says we make the best policy when we hear the voices of all Californians, regardless of where they are born or what they look like.”

Assemblymembers Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) and David Chiu (D-San Francisco) were coauthors of SB 174. Section 241 has been amended only once, in 1971, to lower the age of eligibility for elected office from 21 to 18.

The bill passed the State Senate with a 26-11 vote with Senator Glazer supporting it. In the Assembly, the bill passed with 46-28 vote with neither Assemblymember Frazier or Grayson casting a vote.

Date Result Location Ayes Noes NVR Motion
08/24/18 (PASS) Senate Floor 26 11 3 Unfinished Business SB174 Lara et al. Concurrence
Ayes: Allen, Atkins, Beall, Bradford, De León, Delgado, Dodd, Galgiani, Glazer, Hernandez, Hertzberg, Hill, Hueso, Jackson, Lara, Leyva, McGuire, Mitchell, Monning, Pan, Portantino, Roth, Skinner, Stern, Wieckowski, Wiener
Noes: Anderson, Bates, Chang, Fuller, Gaines, Moorlach, Morrell, Nielsen, Stone, Vidak, Wilk
No Votes Recorded: Berryhill, Cannella, Nguyen

 

08/20/18 (PASS) Assembly Floor 46 26 8 SB 174 Lara Senate Third Reading By GONZALEZ FLETCHER
Ayes: Aguiar-Curry, Arambula, Berman, Bloom, Bonta, Burke, Calderon, Carrillo, Chau, Chávez, Chiu, Chu, Cooper, Eggman, Friedman, Gabriel, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gipson, Gloria, Gonzalez Fletcher, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Kamlager-Dove, Levine, Limón, Low, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Nazarian, O’Donnell, Quirk, Reyes, Rivas, Rodriguez, Rubio, Santiago, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Weber, Wood, Rendon
Noes: Acosta, Travis Allen, Baker, Bigelow, Brough, Chen, Choi, Cooley, Cunningham, Dahle, Flora, Fong, Gallagher, Gray, Harper, Kiley, Lackey, Maienschein, Mathis, Melendez, Obernolte, Patterson, Salas, Steinorth, Voepel, Waldron
No Votes Recorded: Caballero, Cervantes, Daly, Frazier, Grayson, Mayes, Muratsuchi, Quirk-Silva

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