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Senate Democrats block motions to suspend Sens. Wright and Calderon

Laws and LegislationCrime, Law and JusticePoliticsDarrell SteinbergBob HuffRon CalderonTed Lieu

SACRAMENTO -- State Senate Democrats on Monday blocked two resolutions that would have suspended Sens. Ronald Calderon and Roderick Wright, who have taken voluntary leaves of absences pending the outcome of criminal charges they are facing.

Senate Republican leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar introduced the resolutions, saying the Senate should vote to suspend Calderon and Wright to formalize that they cannot come back to work without Senate approval.

“This resolution will help to eliminate the distractions that exist in the Senate,” Huff said of the Wright measure. When the Calderon measure came up, Huff urged colleagues to “do the right thing. It doesn’t do anything new. It codifies what has already been done.”

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said the resolutions are unnecessary because Wright and Calderon are already on paid leaves of absence until their criminal cases are resolved. Wright faces a May 16 hearing after a jury found him guilty of lying when he said he lived in his Senate district. Calderon has been indicted on charges of accepting nearly $100,000 in bribes.

“Both of these members are not here and they are not coming back unless they are cleared of criminal charges," Steinberg told his colleagues. “I would urge all of us to stop wasting time.”

The Senate voted 22 to 12 to send both resolutions to the Senate Rules Committee, where Huff predicted they would sit without action.

Only two Democrats, Sens. Ted Lieu of Torrance and Cathleen Galgiani of Stockton, joined the Republican minority in voting against sending the resolutions to committee.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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