Senator Michael Rubio (D-Bakersfield) abruptly resigned from the state Senate Friday, citing his desire to be closer to his family. Rubio’s departure complicates work on at least two very important issues: Reform of the California Environmental Quality Act, and renegotiation of the 2009 water infrastructure bond. Only two years into his first Senate term, Rubio was recently appointed chairman of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee for the express purpose of shepherding CEQA reform legislation that would limit litigation used by activists to block development projects. He was perhaps the most moderate member of the Democratic caucus in the Senate; last year, Rubio was one of only a few Senate Democrats who did not vote for United Farm Workers legislation on heat illness lawsuits and expanded overtime.
Governor Brown will shortly call for a special election to fill Rubio’s vacated seat.
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