You’ll need a scorecard
to reach the head of state
With Gov. Jerry Brown heading to Mexico on Sunday and other officeholders preparing for out-of-state trips of their own, it might help to consult the state constitution – or one very detailed memorandum from the Governor’s Office – to know exactly who is in charge of the state next week and when.
The memo, provided to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday by Jonathan Renner, Brown’s legal affairs secretary, tells Newsom he will be acting governor from Sunday afternoon until Tuesday morning.
But Brown will still be in Mexico when Newsom himself leaves California on Tuesday, so Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, the next in line, will act as governor until the following day.
That takes us to Wednesday, when Brown is scheduled to return. But not until later in the day – after Steinberg, too, leaves the state. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, will fill in.
In Nevada 11 years ago, Secretary of State Cheryl Lau became acting governor for a few hours after four other officials were out of state.
Atkins would appear to be the end of the line. A spokesman said she has no plans to leave town.
“He earned the pension – once you earned it, it’s yours.”