California state Sen. Ronald Calderon is taking a paid leave of absence amidst federal corruption charges, a move that will cost Senate Democrats their supermajority in the state Senate.
Last week, Calderon was charged with accepting nearly $100,000 in bribes, gourmet meals, and pricey golf games in exchange for legislative action.
Calderon’s absence will cost Democrats the supermajority they had previously enjoyed, giving them the ability to pass bills without Republican support. It could affect Democrats’ plans to raise taxes on oil pumped from the ground in California and alter a water bond bill amidst a massive drought in the state,according to the Los Angeles Times.
“I will be seeking a voluntary leave of absence from my legislative duties in Sacramento,” Calderon said in a statement obtained by NBC. “This is not a resignation since I still have my day in court. However, due to the nature and complexity of the charges, and the discovery materials that I will have to review, I expect this to be a lengthy period of absence continuing until the end of the session in August.”
The Senate’s top Democrat threatened a forced suspension if Calderon, who represents Los Angeles county’s city of Montebello, did not resign or take a leave of absence within a week of the charges.