Sunday, November 13, 2016

California Democrats Gain Super Majority in Assembly, Not Senate

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

[Update: After all of the ballot counting in the close races, the Democrats wound up with a supermajority in both houses]

Two years ago the Democrats lost their super-majority in both houses of the California legislature.  To regain their precious super-majority, in the 2016 election the Democrats needed to take two seats away from the Republicans in the Assembly, and only one in the Senate.

After much of the smoke has cleared, the Democrats flipped three seats in the assembly, securing a super-majority in the Assembly.  In the Senate it looks like they won't gain the seat they need, but we won't know for sure until later in the week because ballots can arrive in elections offices as late as Monday, and the counting may last a while beyond that.

In the State of California, thanks to California Proposition 26 passing in 2010 as an amendment to the State's constitution, it takes a super-majority vote to pass new taxes and fees.  The requirement of a two-thirds super-majority vote is required for the approval of many fees, levies, charges and tax revenue allocations that under the state's previous rules could be enacted by a simple majority vote.  This means that the Republicans in California may be in the minority, but as long as they hold at least a third of the seats in one or both houses of the legislature, they can stop tax increases and other leftist revenue tactics.  The prize of a super-majority is desired by the Democrats specifically because they want to raise taxes, kill Proposition 13 and override Governor Jerry Brown on the few occasions when he vetoes coveted hard left proposals.
The gain of three seats in the Assembly has Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) saying that the Democrats winning as many as 55 seats, one more than needed to secure a super-majority in his chamber, is a rousing message that “...people understand everything we’ve accomplished, and it’s a rousing endorsement of that.”

In the State Senate a super-majority is 27 seats.  The Democrats only needs a single pickup, but the order was a tall one since the flip needed to occur in historically red districts.  At this point only one race is still in question, District 29, where Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) holds a slim lead of 113,568 votes (51%) to challenger Josh Newman's 109,435 (49%) - [after provisional ballots and absentee ballots were counted, Newman was the winner].  It is likely she will retain the seat for the GOP that previously belonged to Republican Bob Huff.

With the Republicans winning the vacant seat in District 21 (most recently represented by Republican Sharon Runner of Lancaster, who died on July 14, 2016), and if they win Ling-Ling's race in District 29 as is likely, the Democrats remain at 26 seats and will not achieve the coveted super-majority they seek in the State Senate.

This means that though the Democrats were held back from winning their super-majority in the State Senate, because they won three seats in the Assembly (giving them the minimum of two seats gain they needed to achieve a super-majority in that house of the State legislature), they are literally only one seat away from having their way without any opposition from the Republicans in Sacramento - which would send California in a truly hellacious direction that may be impossible to recover from for a long time.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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