Shannon Grove

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Shannon Grove
Shannon Grove.jpg
Minority Leader of the California Senate
Assumed office
March 1, 2019
Preceded byPatricia Bates
Member of the California Senate
from the 16th district
Assumed office
December 3, 2018
Preceded byJean Fuller
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 34th district
32nd district (2010–2012)
In office
December 6, 2010 – November 30, 2016
Preceded byJean Fuller
Succeeded byVince Fong
Personal details
Born
Shannon Lee Cain

(1965-03-18) March 18, 1965 (age 55)
Bakersfield, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Rick Grove
Children5
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Unit5th Corps, Headquarters Company

Shannon Lee Grove (née Cain; born March 18, 1965) is an American politician, currently serving as the minority leader of the California State Senate. A Republican, she represents the 16th State Senate district, encompassing the southern Central Valley and parts of the High Desert. Grove previously served in the California State Assembly, representing the 34th State Assembly district, which encompassed most of Kern County. She is the chief executive officer of an employment agency she started in 1993 with her sister-in-law.

Early life and career[edit]

Grove was born in Kern County, California, and grew up there.[1] 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.[2]

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.[2] 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.[2] Grove is the CEO.[2]

Legislative career[edit]

Elections and committees[edit]

Grove was elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010, succeeding Jean Fuller, who was termed out and opted to run for the State Senate. She was re-elected twice to the California State Assembly, and was sworn into her third term in 2014.[3] Due to term limits, Grove was not eligible to run for a fourth term in 2016.[4] In the Assembly, Grove was vice chair (i.e., ranking Republican member) of the Elections and Redistricting Committee, and also sat on the Agriculture, Insurance, and Budget committees.[5]

When Fuller could not run for the State Senate in 2018 due to term limits, Grove ran for the open seat.[6] The Republican-leaning district is the largest in California in terms of land area,[6] comprising Tulare County, Kern County, and part of San Bernardino County.[7] This is the southeastern San Joaquin Valley and much of Mojave Desert, including Ridgecrest, Taft, Tehachapi, Barstow, Tulare, Visalia, and part of Bakersfield.[6] She was favored in the race against Republican Gregory Tatum, a church pastor, and Democrat Ruth Musser-Lopez, an archaeologist and former Needles council member,[6] and easily won the election.[8][9]

In January 2019, Grove was elected by her Senate Republican colleagues to serve as their leader. In this role, Grove leads the 10-member Republican caucus in the California State Senate, where the Democrats enjoy a supermajority.[7]

Record and political views[edit]

Grove is a conservative and outspoken Donald Trump supporter; she once called herself a "gun-carrying, tongue-talking, spirit-filled believer."[7]

Public health[edit]

Grove opposed mandatory vaccination of schoolchildren.[7]

In September 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in California, Grove addressed a large prayer gathering in front of the California State Capitol, where few of the thousands present wore masks or socially distanced. Grove appeared on the stage and addressed the meeting without wearing a mask and while under a state-ordered quarantine. She was one of nine Republican state senators who had been in close contact with state Senator Brian Jones, who had tested positive for COVID-19.[10]

Education[edit]

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.[11]

Social issues[edit]

Grove has introduced anti-abortion legislation into the Assembly, which did not pass.[12] Grove opposed legislation passed by the Assembly in 2015 in response to misinformation at crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). The law required CPC to disclose whether they were licensed, and required the posting of notices stating that "reproductive health services, including abortion, are available to pregnant women and may be financed under government programs." Grove argued that the legislation is unconstitutional.[13]

In June 2016, Grove attracted attention and criticism after linking abortion legislation and the wrath of God to the drought in California.[14][15] 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."[16] Grove's remarks sparked a backlash[14] and were criticized as "patently ridiculous" by NARAL Pro-Choice California, an abortion rights group.[16] Grove responded to criticism by saying that she had been misconstrued.[16] 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."[16]

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."[17] In Assembly floor debate on the legislation in 2015, Grove stated: "Sorry, colleagues, pain is part of life."[18]

Energy, environment, and infrastructure[edit]

In 2016, Grove produced a widely viewed video, posted on Facebook, that blamed Californian farmers' lack of water on policies 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."[19]

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.[20] Grove has called the project a "train to nowhere" and believes that it is too costly and disruptive to farmland.[21]

Grove has called for reducing regulation of the fossil fuel industry.[22] She has opposed efforts to combat climate change, calling such measures unaffordable.[23] 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.[24] Grove opposes regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), arguing that the technology is safe and that environmental critics of the practice are wrong.[25][26] Along with several other legislative Republicans, Grove has sponsored legislation to exempt gasoline, diesel, and natural gas from California's cap-and-trade program.[27]

Economic and labor policy[edit]

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.[28][29] 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.[30]

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.[31] Grove argued that PAGA suits had grown out of control,[32] 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."[31]

Grove has sought to reduce the state's minimum business tax.[27]

Social services[edit]

Grove has opposed providing financial assistance to poor families struggling to afford diapers for infant children.[33]

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.[27][34] 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).[34] Grove supports increased funding for developmental disability services, saying: "Now we're in a critical crisis stage where programs are closing."[35]

Other[edit]

In 2011, as a first-term assemblywoman, Grove advocated changing the California State Legislature from a full-time to a part-time body. She 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.[36][37] Grove pitched the idea in a four-minute video produced by a Tea Party group in 2012.[37] A Field Poll showed that 39 percent of voters supported Grove's idea, while 45 percent opposed it.[38]

Election results[edit]

2018 California State Senate election
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Shannon Grove 90,353 59.1
Democratic Ruth Musser-Lopez 44,303 29.0
Republican Gregory Tatum 18,152 11.9
Total votes 152,808 100.0
General election
Republican Shannon Grove 169,714 64.2
Democratic Ruth Musser-Lopez 94,579 35.8
Total votes 264,293 100.0
Republican hold
California's 34th State Assembly district election, 2014
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Shannon Grove (incumbent) 37,749 74.6
Democratic Virginia "Mari" Goodman 12,856 25.4
Total votes 50,605 100.0
General election
Republican Shannon Grove (incumbent) 70,403 74.3
Democratic Virginia "Mari" Goodman 24,132 25.5
Total votes 94,535 100.0
Republican hold

Personal life[edit]

Grove lives in Bakersfield with her husband, Rick; they have five grown children. Grove is a member of an Assemblies of God congregation.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Shannon Grove Biography, California State Assembly Republican Caucus (accessed June 10, 2016).
  2. ^ a b c d James Burger (May 15, 2010). "Shannon Grove: Always up for a challenge". The Bakersfield Californian.
  3. ^ Aaron Crutchfield, Fuller, Grove sworn in Monday, Ridgecrest Daily Independent (December 1, 2014).
  4. ^ Harold Pierce, Fong, Swanlund finishing first and second in Assembly race, Bakersfield Californian (June 7, 2016).
  5. ^ Committee Membership, California State Assembly Republican Caucus (accessed June 10, 2016).
  6. ^ a b c d Steven Meyer, Beating Grove an uphill battle for pair of not so well known challengers in 16th senate district, Bakersfield Californian (April 22, 2018).
  7. ^ a b c d McGreevy, Patrick (January 20, 2019). "Conservative Shannon Grove picked as California Senate Republican leader after GOP election losses". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ Obernolte, Ramos win Assembly seats, Victorville Daily Press (November 7, 2018).
  9. ^ Laura Lanfray, Shannon Grove claims state senate seat, Renegade Rip (November 9, 2018).
  10. ^ Limits on large gatherings in Sacramento were not applied to prayer event at state Capitol, Los Angeles Times (September 8, 2020).
  11. ^ Steven Greenhut (February 27, 2016). "Bill targets CSU's 'believe it or not' edict". San Diego Union-Tribune.
  12. ^ California Abortion Law Targeting Asian Immigrants Fails, LA Weekly (May 7, 2014).
  13. ^ Fenit Nirappil, California bill compels abortion notice at pregnancy centers, Associated Press (May 26, 2015).
  14. ^ a b Jeremy B. White, Shannon Grove under fire for linking drought to abortion, Sacramento Bee (June 12, 2015).
  15. ^ Kotowski, Jason (June 11, 2015). "Assemblywoman Shannon Grove blames drought on God's anger with abortion". Bakersfield Californian.
  16. ^ a b c d Hailey Branson-Potts, Did Kern County legislator suggest link between God, state drought and abortion?, Los Angeles Times (June 16, 2015).
  17. ^ Shannon Grove speaks out against Assisted Suicide bill (press release), California State Assembly Republican Caucus (January 21, 2015).
  18. ^ George Skelton, Aid-in-dying bill aligns with religious liberty, Los Angeles Times (September 28, 2015).
  19. ^ "10 Things You Need to Know". Bakersfield Californian. April 6, 2016.
  20. ^ Theo Douglas, High-speed rail agency declines further response to Grove's allegations, Bakersfield Californian (November 6, 2015).
  21. ^ Assemblywoman Shannon Grove Responds to Assembly Passage Of Reckless High Speed Rail Spending (press release), California State Assembly Republican Caucus (July 5, 2012).
  22. ^ "Congressional hearing targets oil regulations". Bakersfield Californian. May 7, 2011.
  23. ^ Jeremy B. White, Lawmakers send Jerry Brown scaled-back climate change measure, Sacramento Bee (September 11, 2015).
  24. ^ Shannon Grove, California legislature should keep an open mind on climate change policy, Bakersfield California (April 7, 2012).
  25. ^ Scott Shafer, Open Arms Greet Fracking in Kern County, KQED (October 10, 2014).
  26. ^ Shannon Grove speaks out against anti-fracking bill, California State Assembly Republican Caucus (May 31, 2013).
  27. ^ a b c Christine Bedell (December 29, 2014). "State Agenda 2015: It's all about water--and a few other things". Bakersfield Californian.
  28. ^ Bob Balgenorth, Facts don't support Grove in debate over prevailing wage, Bakersfield California (June 20, 2011).
  29. ^ 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).
  30. ^ Jon Ortiz, Bills would force unions to open books, ratify representation, Sacramento Bee (February 23, 2016).
  31. ^ a b Rodric Hurdle-Bradford, Private attorney general lawsuits are 'absurd' and 'out of control,' say reformers, NorCal Record (May 5, 2016).
  32. ^ Shannon Grove seeks to reform PAGA, KGET-TV (April 1, 2015).
  33. ^ Isabelle Taft (December 15, 2014). "California bill would start nation's first diaper assistance program". Sacramento Bee.
  34. ^ a b John Cox (May 12, 2015). "Grove bill would close two state-run developmental centers, transfer funds to nonprofits". Bakersfield Californian.
  35. ^ Hannah Battah. "Bakersfield protesters seek funding for developmental disability services". KBAK-TV, Sinclair Broadcast Group.
  36. ^ "Grove wants lawmakers to go part-time, cut $8k salaries". KBAK-TV, Sinclair Broadcast Group. December 11, 2011.
  37. ^ a b Jim Sanders, Shannon Grove releases video pitch for part-time CA Legislature, Sacramento Bee (February 16, 2012).
  38. ^ Wyatt Buchanan & Marisa Lagos, Voters not wowed by idea of part-time Legislature, San Francisco Chronicle (February 25, 2012).

External links[edit]

California Senate
Preceded by
Patricia Bates
Minority Leader of the California Senate
2019–present
Incumbent