California State Senator Darrell Steinberg, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, has introduced SCA 16. It eliminates special elections to fill legislative vacancies. Instead, the Governor could appoint someone who has the same party preference as the outgoing member. The house of the legislature that suffered the vacancy could veto the Governor’s choice if it wished.
If an independent had been elected and had resigned or died, the Governor could appoint anyone, regardless of party preference.
California State Senators have four-year terms. If a vacancy occurred in a State Senate seat in the first year of the term, the Governor’s appointment would only serve until the next general election. Thanks to Dave Kadlecek for this news.