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California Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed into law AB 80 this afternoon. The legislation passed unanimously in the state Assembly and with only three dissenting votes in the state Senate, eliminates the separate presidential primary created prior to the 2008 presidential election cycle and re-couples the contest with the primaries for state and local offices. There will now be concurrent presidential and state/local primaries on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June (June 5, 2012) that will save the state upwards of $100 million.
For reasons FHQ mentioned earlier today, this is a significant shift. California, the most populous, most delegate-rich state, moves it presidential primary from the earliest allowed date in 2008 to nearly the last possible date on the primary calendar in 2012. A shift of nearly 10% of the available delegates -- in both parties -- from February to June fundamentally affects the delegate calculations being made within the various presidential campaigns. It also very likely, moves California outside of the window in which the nominee will be determined.
The bill has also been the longest active presidential primary bill this state legislative cycle. Introduced long before most other bills to move presidential primaries in other states, the bill was in the midst of the legislative process from early January all the way to late July. That is partially a function of a year-round legislative session -- something not all states have -- but it was active for quite a while nonetheless.
Hat tip to Anthony York at PolitiCal for the news.