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Normally Aloof, Formal Senate Plays Prank on Itself

There are a handful of legislators who push health care bills in the Assembly. Bill Emmerson (R-Bermuda Dunes), who sat on the Assembly Committee on Health, has been one of them.

But he was presenting a very different kind of bill Wednesday, a vehicle registration amnesty bill. It was one of those kind and gentle bills, with no opposition and no controversy.

So it was a bit of a shock to hear one state senate member after another stand up and vote decisively “No” on it. In a day where many bills passed without one dissent, this one failed, 2-22. It took a moment to see that many senate members were chuckling away about it.

“So that was my initiation to the Senate floor,” Emmerson said. “Usually when you present your first bill, they like to have a little bit of a hazing. It’s a little ritual.”

Emmerson, an orthodontist, was elected to the state Senate in a special election in June. He previously represented the 63rd Assembly District from 2005-2010.

“This was sort of a special one,” he said of AB 2461 that is a potential big deal, and could bring in additional revenue. It’s not just getting people to register their special cars, but also to conform to health and safety standards.”

On the Senate floor after its defeat, the bill was placed on hold. And brought up again 20 minutes later, where it passed 33-0.

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Capitol Desk Public Health