Before the end of the 2018 legislative session, California lawmakers sent Governor Jerry Brown a bill that makes it easier for them to live outside the districts they represent. On Saturday, September 29, Governor Brown signed the bill, Senate Bill 1250, which is sure to cause some controversies when it goes into effect. SB 1250 says the address listed on a lawmaker’s voter registration will be accepted as the primary residence, just as long as he or she actually lived at the address for an unspecified period of time. State Senator Steven Bradford, the author of the bill, stated the following in a letter supporting the bill,
This bill is about allowing all legislators, who must travel and live in our state capital, to be effective leaders for our representative districts without the fear of being targeted by overzealous prosecutors or political adversaries.
The bill addresses an issue that has been around for a couple years now. Four years ago, former state Senator Rod Wright was found guilty of felony perjury and voting fraud charges after a jury found that he lied about his address on voter registration and candidacy papers in 2007 and 2008. Wright resigned from the Legislature and later served 71 minutes in jail. Legislators that opposed SB 1250 believe the measure gives lawmakers a chance to move away from their districts and live in wealthier areas. We will have to wait and see if the bill creates any issues in the future during elections.