Since Sen. Leland Yee is refusing to resign from the Senate, his fellow lawmakers have gone ahead and drawn up a resolution of their own calling for Yee's suspension from office.
Earlier today, Yee, who was arrested yesterday on bribery and gun trafficking charges, withdrew from the race for Secretary of State, but his attorney told reporters he was not leaving the Senate, despite calls from fellow pols asking for him to resign.
Not long after that, in continuation of the saga, Senate GOP leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) introduced Senate Resolution 37, asking lawmakers to suspend Yee.
The arrest has caused an uproar among political leaders on both party lines. Yesterday evening, Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), asked Yee to resign, saying: "Leave. Don't burden your colleagues and this great institution with your troubles. Leave."
Republicans and Democrats might not agree on much, but they're finding harmony on this particular issue. "We need to act decisively in order to begin restoring the public's trust," says Huff.
According to Huff:
Senator Yee's indictment details intolerable actions of public corruption: conspiracy to deal illegal shoulder-fired automatic weapons and missiles from international weapons smugglers, and repeatedly engaging in a quid pro quo of performing legislative actions in exchange for large campaign contributions - sometimes in cash.
These actions led to another FBI raid yesterday in the State Capitol, once again tarnishing the California State Senate. Quite simply, it is time for Leland Yee to go and I will bring up Senate Resolution 37 to formalize the Senate's intent and allow all Senators the opportunity to weigh in on this matter.
Here's what Senate Resolution 37 says:
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, a majority of the membership concurring, That the Senate hereby suspends Senator Leland Y. Yee from exercising any of the powers of his office as a Member of the Senate until such time as his pending criminal matter is resolved.
According to Bob Huff's office, the resolution has three possible outcomes that will be decided on by Steinberg: he could block it, give it up to the Senate Rules Committee, or he could ask for a vote of the senate.
Along with introducing Senate Resolution 37, Huff is also pushing for the suspensions of Democratic State Senators Ron Calderon and Rod Wright who are facing criminal charges of their own. He says that by purging the assembly of Calderon, Wright and Yee, "Only then can the Senate move beyond this dark cloud of ethics violations and corruption."
"We have many critical issues before us this year, and it's our responsibility to restore trust with the people and renew our focus on the important issues facing California," Huff says.
If Yee resigns before his term is up, it would drop Democrats to 25 seats in the Senate and give Republicans a larger role in legislation, according to the Sacramento Bee.