Democrats move to cover recall costs, speed up election date
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fairly difficult
Democratic leaders in the California Legislature announced Thursday the state would cover the estimated $215 million cost to stage an expected recall election that could oust Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom from office, potentially allowing the contest to be held at an earlier date this year.

The announcement came shortly after state analysts released the cost projection, based on figures submitted by the state's 58 counties that conduct elections.

"This funding will allow for an earlier recall election," Senate leader Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said in a joint statement, adding that the Legislature also would waive a 30-day review of those costs.

No election date has been set at this point, and it wasn't immediately clear how the leaders' announcement might influence that decision, which is part of a lengthy process managed by the Secretary of State.

The election was widely expected to be held sometime in the fall, based on required financial reviews before the state authorizes the recall and sets the date.

For example, the Finance Department has 30 days to review the cost estimate for the election. The agency issued the preliminary $215 million estimate Thursday, but its analysts have not started its formal review. It wasn't clear how long that might take.

With the moves in the Legislature, it appears Democrats are eager to get the recall on the ballot as quickly as possible, with recent polling showing the embattled governor would survive the recall attempt…
MICHAEL R. BLOOD, Associated Press
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