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California

Mia Bonta won’t oversee her husband’s DOJ budget

California Attorney General Rob Bonta (left) and his wife, Rep. Mia Bonta, interact with state legislators and staff ahead of Governor Newsom's 2022 state legislative address in Sacramento.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta (left) and his wife, Rep. Mia Bonta, interact with state legislators and staff ahead of Governor Newsom’s 2022 state legislative address in Sacramento.

sacramento bee file

A subcommittee led by Assemblywoman Mia Bonta, D-Oakland, will no longer oversee her husband’s Department of Justice budget, legislative leaders announced Wednesday, amid a flurry of questions about a potential conflict of interest.

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Assembly Budget Committee Chair Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, announced that he was “temporarily” reassigning all DOJ funding matters from the public safety budget subcommittee, led by Bonta, to a different panel. Ting said that the change will remain in effect “for as long as Bonta is chair” of her subcommittee.

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“We thought it was the cleanest thing to do,” Ting said in an interview, adding that he consulted with Bonta and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, before making the move. Rendon’s spokesperson, Katie Talbot, said he agreed with the decision.

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In an interview after the announcement, Bonta said she endorsed the shift.

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“I definitely support the decision,” she said. “I think it speaks to the notice that I provided to recuse myself from involvement in matters related to the budget for the DOJ.”

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Sacramento’s NBC affiliate KCRA 3 first reported on Feb. 9 that Mia Bonta, who chairs Assembly Budget Subcommittee 5 on Public Safety, would be overseeing Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office finances. On Sunday, the assemblywoman announced in a statement that she would recuse herself from matters pertaining to the DOJ.

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Bonta denies any conflict of interest but said she “wanted to make sure we were able to focus on the business at hand for the committee and the work I have to do in my district.”

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Ting, who also said he didn’t see Bonta’s original appointment as improper, hoped this would “prevent any perception of conflict.”

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DOJ funding will be discussed at a budget subcommittee meeting on March 14.

Maggie Angst covers California politics and Governor Gavin Newsom on The Sacramento Bee. Before she joined The Bee’s Capitol Bureau, she worked for Mercury News and she worked for the East Bay Times, covering San Jose City Hall, and then she wrote corporate stories for the breaking news team.



https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article272577581.html Mia Bonta won’t oversee her husband’s DOJ budget

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