How did California's SB 782 slip under the radar? It might have something to do with how the existing election codes are being altered. Here's the law as it reads currently:
Section 1202. The presidential primary shall be held on the first Tuesday in February in any year evenly divisible by the number four, and shall not be consolidated with the statewide direct primary held in that year.
And here is the newly proposed, amended version called for in SB 782:
Section 1202. The presidential primary shall be held on the first Tuesday in February in any year evenly divisible by the number four and shall not be consolidated with the statewide direct primary held in that year.
Notice the difference? I didn't either; not at first anyway. It's that comma before the phrase, "and shall not be consolidated with the statewide direct primary held in that year." I have no idea what difference that comma's exclusion makes. However, that the bill is sponsored by the Republican leader in the state Senate, Bob Dutton (R-31st, Rancho Cucamonga) reads like some implicit endorsement of the current schedule for primaries in the Golden state.
As a refresher, California separated its presidential primary from its state and local primaries for the 2008 cycle. Instead of all of the elections being held concurrently during the first week in March, the presidential primary was shifted to the more advantageous February position while the primaries for state and local offices were moved back to June where presidential year primaries had historically been held in the state prior to 1996. Legislation on the Assembly side (AB 80) has been introduced to re-couple those two sets of primaries, but in June 2012. Given that late date and the fact that it will likely fall after the point at which the Republican nomination will have been decided next year, it is understandable that California Republicans in the state assembly would be opposed to the measure. That may be the reality they face as the minority party, however.
Still, whether SB 782 is motivated by concerns over the timing of the presidential primary in 2012, it represents the most non-substantial of non-substantial changes to election law one can imagine.
UPDATE: It turns out that comma strikethrough was a legislative maneuver to "create" a change in the law to beat the bill introduction deadline in the California Assembly last week. Changes can be made later in committee, but a bill had to have been introduced by February 18. Thanks to Richard Winger at Ballot Access News for the information.