Part of a law that bans communists from serving in California's government jobs could soon be repealed by state lawmakers. The original law was passed in the 1950s amidst concern that state and local government would be infiltrated by Soviet spies.
The California State Assembly on Monday approved the measure to eliminate part of the bill that calls for public employees to be fired if they are members of the Communist Party, though it was met with resistance from some lawmakers who said the ban should still be in effect.
Assemblyman Randy Voepel, a Republican, told the Sacramento Bee that he considers communists in North Korea and China as an ongoing threat.
Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen added that communism doesn't represent American values.
"This bill is blatantly offensive to all Californians," Allen said. "Communism stands for everything that the United States stands against."
Although the bill repeals the ban of communists in state government, it still allows for the firing of employees who are members of any organization that calls for the overthrow of government by use of force or violence.
Assemblyman Rob Bonta, the Democrat would authored the proposal, said the original bill is outdated and he is simply updating the provision, according to the Bee.
The bill will now go to the state Senate for review.