California may soon allow Communists to serve in government after passing legislation Monday that calls for the elimination of a provision blocking them from working in state jobs.
California lawmakers narrowly approved legislation to repeal portions of a 1953 law enacted at the height of McCarthyism. The bill, sponsored by San Francisco Bay Area Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta, would remove parts of the law that allow public employees to be fired for being a member of the Communist party.
“There is a clear and present danger, which the Legislature of the State of California finds is great and imminent,” the 1953 legislation reads. “Communist organizations in the State of California and their members will engage in concerted effort to hamper, restrict, interfere with, impede, or nullify the efforts of the State and the public agencies of the State.”
Under the new law, employees could still be fired for being members of an organization that knowingly advocates for overthrowing the government, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Bonta has argued that his bill simply updates an outdated provision. “It’s an old and archaic reference,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “It’s really just a technical fix to remove that reference to a label that could be misused or abused, and frankly, has been in the past, in some of the darker chapters of our history in this country,” Bonta said.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Bonta but did not hear back by press time.
Not all state legislators want to see the law changed.
“This bill is blatantly offensive to all Californians,” Southern California Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen said, according to the Sacramento Bee. “Communism stands for everything that the United States stands against.”
The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration.
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