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Two legislative leaders booted over budget crisis

State Sen. Leland Yee (D- San Francisco) and Assemblywoman Connie Conway (R-Tulare) are among the casualties of the protracted state budget crisis.

Yee was stripped of his post as assistant president pro tem by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D- Sacramento) this week. Yee subsequently issued an open letter to Steinberg saying the move was retribution for Yee’s failure to vote in favor of the budget.

“I am more than willing to relinquish this title if that is the price for voting my conscience on the state budget and standing up against severe cuts to education, social services and healthcare,” Yee wrote.

Yee is expected to run for mayor of San Francisco, and votes for deep budget cuts could be an obstacle in the famously liberal city. Steinberg spokesman Nathan Barankin said the job would remain unfilled.

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In the Assembly, Conway lost her post as chairwoman of the Republican caucus after mounting a failed coup attempt against Assembly Republican Leader Martin Garrick of Solana Beach.

“The caucus chair serves at the pleasure of the leader,” Conway said of her dismissal, “and it’s his prerogative.”

Garrick spokesman Seth Unger declined to comment, calling Conway’s removal “an internal caucus matter.” No replacement has been named.

anthony.york@latimes.com

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York is editor of Capitol Weekly and The Times’ state politics and government blog, PolitiCal.


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