|Member of the California State Assembly
from the 34th district
32nd district (2010–2012)
December 6, 2010 – November 30, 2016
|Preceded by||Jean Fuller|
|Succeeded by||Vince Fong|
|Born||Shannon Lee Cain
March 18, 1965
|Alma mater||Arvin High School|
|Religion||Assembly of God|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Unit||Headquarters Company 5th Corps
Shannon Lee Grove (née Cain; born March 18, 1965) is an American politician who served in the California State Assembly. A Republican, Grove represented the 34th district, which encompass most of Kern County. She is serving her third term in office. She is the chief executive officer of an employment agency she started in 1993 with her sister-in-law.
Early life and career
Grove was born in Kern County, California, and grew up there. She graduated Arvin High School in Arvin, California before spending three years in the U.S. Army, serving with Headquarters Company, 5th Corps, in Frankfurt, Germany, where she performed administrative tasks.
Upon returning to her native Kern County, California, Grove worked for two temporary staffing agencies: TempServ for one year and then Workforce Staffing for another year. In 1993, Grove established her own temporary staffing company, Continental Labor & Staffing Resources, with her sister-in-law; the company subsequently expanded to Bakersfield, Ridgecrest, Paso Robles and Visalia; the latter two of which are now closed. Grove is the CEO.
Elections and committees
Grove was elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010. She was reelected twice to the California State Assembly, and was sworn in to her third term in 2014. Due to term limits, Grove is not eligible to run for a fourth term in 2016.
Record and political views
Grove advocates changing the California State Legislature from a full-time to a part-time body. In 2011, as a first-term assemblywoman, Grove sought to place an initiative on the California ballot to reduce its annual legislative session from nine months to three months (90 days) and cut lawmakers' annual salaries from $95,000 to $18,000. Grove pitched the idea in a four-minute video produced by a Tea Party group in 2012. A Field Poll showed that 39 percent of voters supported Grove's idea, while 45 percent opposed it.
Grove introduced a bill in 2015 that would mandate that California public colleges and universities allow student organizations to maintain belief-based requirements for its members and leaders. The bill targeted the California State University system's "open membership" or "all-comers" policy, which bars student organizations from imposing belief-based criteria for membership and leadership.
Grove has introduced anti-abortion legislation into the Assembly, which did not pass. Grove opposed legislation passed by the Assembly in 2015 in response to misinformation at crisis pregnancy centers; Grove argued that the legislation is unconstitutional.
In June 2016, Grove attracted attention and criticism after linking abortion legislation and the wrath of God to the drought in California. While speaking to a group of anti-abortion activists at an event in Sacramento, Grove brought a copy of the Bible to the platform and stated that: "Texas was in a long period of drought until Gov. [Rick] Perry signed the fetal pain bill. It rained that night." Grove's remarks sparked a backlash and were criticized as "patently ridiculous" by NARAL Pro-Choice California, an abortion rights group. Grove responded to criticism by saying that she had been misconstrued. In a Facebook post following the speech, Grove wrote: "Is this drought caused by God? Nobody knows. But biblical history shows a consequence to man"s actions; we do know for sure that California’s water shortage crisis has been compounded by liberal politicians' poor decisions — not properly managing our water resources and refusing to build water storage for decades."
In 2016, Grove produced a widely viewed video, posted on Facebook, which blamed California's farmers' lack of water on polices under the Endangered Species Act, which protects the endangered delta smelt. Grove states in the video: "Our children are going to lose this blessing if water policy in California does not change. California's bread basket, which feeds this nation and the world, will be destroyed."
Grove opposed the aid-in-dying legislation (S.B. 128) passed by the California State Legislature, saying: "Suicide should never be used as a legitimate way to end human suffering. Although promoted as a compassionate option for the terminally ill, this bill will have a corrupting influence on public and private healthcare providers looking for ways to reduce the cost of end of life care." In Assembly floor debate on the legislation in 2015, Grove stated: "Sorry, colleagues, pain is part of life."
Grove opposes prevailing wage legislation for workers on public-works projects, and has introduced legislation to roll-back prevailing-wage requirements; this legislation was defeated in committee on a party-line vote. In February 2016, Grove introduced two pieces of legislation (A.B. 2753 and A.B. 2754) to require California public-employee unions (such as SEIU Local 1000) to post itemized budgets online and to hold ratification elections every two years.
Grove is a staunch critic of California's high-speed passenger rail (bullet train) project, and has accused the California High-Speed Rail Authority of obscuring cost overruns. Grove has called the project a "train to nowhere" and believes that it is too costly and disruptive to farmland.
Grove sponsored legislation to amend California's Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) of 2004, which allows workers to sue (as private attorneys general) employers who fail to properly pay workers or commit other labor law violations. Grove specifically sponsored legislation that would, among other things, limit the scope of PAGA suits, cap the financial penalty to violations, and provide a time period for a business owner or corporation a right to cure a violation. Grove argued that PAGA suits had grown out of control, saying: "These PAGA laws benefit a lot of Los Angeles lawyers who come in from other districts to legally rape and pillage business owners in my district."
Grove has advocated for the closure of two state developmental centers, which care for Californians with developmental disabilities. Grove became interested in the issue after learning about "abuse, neglect and lack of supervision" leading to 13 deaths at the centers, reported in an investigation by California Watch in 2013. Grove has introduced legislation to close the centers and shifting the developmentally disabled residents to nonprofit community-based care, which Grove argues will be cheaper and have stronger oversight than institutional settings. Grove's legislation was opposed by family members of center residents (who say that forcing their loved ones to move would be disruptive), and by center employees (who note that state-run centers are more expensive because they offer more comprehensive services than community-based nonprofits, and that the rate of abuse in community settings is unclear because of looser reporting requirements for abuse in such settings). Grove supports increased funding for developmental disability services, saying: "Now we're in a critical crisis stage where programs are closing."
Grove has called for reducing regulation of the fossil fuel industry. She has opposed efforts to combat climate change, calling such measures unaffordable. In 2012, Grove invited Lord Monckton, a well-known climate change denier, to speak to the Legislature, although only five of 120 state lawmakers attended the talk. Grove opposes regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), arguing that the technology is safe and that environmental critics of the practice are wrong. Along with several other legislative Republicans, Grove has sponsored legislation to exempt gasoline, diesel, and natural gas from California's cap-and-trade program.
Grove has sought to reduce the state's minimum business tax.
2014 California State Assembly
|California's 34th State Assembly district election, 2014|
|Republican||Shannon Grove (incumbent)||37,749||74.6|
|Democratic||Virginia "Mari" Goodman||12,856||25.4|
|Republican||Shannon Grove (incumbent)||70,403||74.3|
|Democratic||Virginia "Mari" Goodman||24,132||25.5|
- Shannon Grove Biography, California State Assembly Republican Caucus (accessed June 10, 2016).
- James Burger (May 15, 2010). "Shannon Grove: Always up for a challenge". The Bakersfield Californian.
- Aaron Crutchfield, Fuller, Grove sworn in Monday, Ridgecrest Daily Independent (December 1, 2014).
- Harold Pierce, Fong, Swanlund finishing first and second in Assembly race, Bakersfield Californian (June 7, 2016).
- Committee Membership, California State Assembly Republican Caucus (accessed June 10, 2016).
- "Grove wants lawmakers to go part-time, cut $8k salaries". KBAK-TV, Sinclair Broadcast Group. December 11, 2011.
- Jim Sanders, Shannon Grove releases video pitch for part-time CA Legislature, Sacramento Bee (February 16, 2012).
- Wyatt Buchanan & Marisa Lagos, Voters not wowed by idea of part-time Legislature, San Francisco Chronicle (February 25, 2012).
- Steven Greenhut (February 27, 2016). "Bill targets CSU's 'believe it or not' edict". San Diego Union-Tribune.
- California Abortion Law Targeting Asian Immigrants Fails, LA Weekly (May 7, 2014).
- Fenit Nirappil, California bill compels abortion notice at pregnancy centers, Associated Press (May 26, 2015).
- Jeremy B. White, Shannon Grove under fire for linking drought to abortion, Sacramento Bee (June 12, 2015).
- Kotowski, Jason (June 11, 2015). "Assemblywoman Shannon Grove blames drought on God's anger with abortion". Bakersfield Californian.
- Hailey Branson-Potts, Did Kern County legislator suggest link between God, state drought and abortion?, Los Angeles Times (June 16, 2015).
- "10 Things You Need to Know". Bakersfield Californian. April 6, 2016.
- Shannon Grove speaks out against Assisted Suicide bill (press release), California State Assembly Republican Caucus (January 21, 2015).
- George Skelton, Aid-in-dying bill aligns with religious liberty, Los Angeles Times (September 28, 2015).
- Bob Balgenorth, Facts don't support Grove in debate over prevailing wage, Bakersfield California (June 20, 2011).
- Shannon Grove promotes two bills to reform state construction wage laws and spur job creation (press release), California State Assembly Republican Caucus (January 4, 2012).
- Jon Ortiz, Bills would force unions to open books, ratify representation, Sacramento Bee (February 23, 2016).
- Isabelle Taft (December 15, 2014). "California bill would start nation's first diaper assistance program". Sacramento Bee.
- Theo Douglas, High-speed rail agency declines further response to Grove's allegations, Bakersfield Californian (November 6, 2015).
- Assemblywoman Shannon Grove Responds to Assembly Passage Of Reckless High Speed Rail Spending (press release), California State Assembly Republican Caucus (July 5, 2012).
- Rodric Hurdle-Bradford, Private attorney general lawsuits are 'absurd' and 'out of control,' say reformers, NorCal Record (May 5, 2016).
- Shannon Grove seeks to reform PAGA, KGET-TV (April 1, 2015).
- Christine Bedell (December 29, 2014). "State Agenda 2015: It's all about water--and a few other things". Bakersfield Californian.
- John Cox (May 12, 2015). "Grove bill would close two state-run developmental centers, transfer funds to nonprofits". Bakersfield Californian.
- Hannah Battah. "Bakersfield protesters seek funding for developmental disability services". KBAK-TV, Sinclair Broadcast Group.
- "Congressional hearing targets oil regulations". Bakersfield Californian. May 7, 2011.
- Jeremy B. White, Lawmakers send Jerry Brown scaled-back climate change measure, Sacramento Bee (September 11, 2015).
- Shannon Grove, California legislature should keep an open mind on climate change policy, Bakersfield California (April 7, 2012).
- Dana Nuccitelli, Monckton Misleads California Lawmakers - Now It's Personal (Part 1), Skeptical Science (March 29, 2012).
- Scott Shafer, Open Arms Greet Fracking in Kern County, KQED (October 10, 2014).
- Shannon Grove speaks out against anti-fracking bill, California State Assembly Republican Caucus (May 31, 2013).