Election officials in Riverside and San Bernardino counties estimated Monday that it will cost at least $1.1 million to hold a stand-alone special election next year to fill the vacancy created by the surprise resignation of state Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-Redlands.
The state hasn't covered counties' special election costs since 2007. Earlier this year, Emmerson carried a bill to require the state to reimburse counties but it stalled in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
"Fiscal uncertainty is a reality for government agencies and these unplanned and unfunded elections are an immense burden on the budgeting process," Emmerson said in a committee analysis of the measure.
Emmerson's resignation takes effect Dec. 1. After that, Gov. Jerry Brown will call a special election to fill the vacancy in the 23rd Senate District. Given the calendar, it's likely that there will be a stand-alone special primary election in March or April and the special general election will be consolidated with the June 3, 2014 statewide primary ballot.