Democrats lose supermajority
March 4, 2014
After a little more than a year of a Democrat supermajority in both houses of the California Legislature, the legal troubles of two Democrats has cost the party its state Senate majority. [MercuryNews]
State Sen. Ronald Calderon’s decision Sunday to take a paid leave of absence while he fights federal corruption charges is slated to eliminate the supermajority Democrats won in 2012. Last week, a federal grand jury indicted Calderon on charges of bribery, fraud, money laundering and other offenses.
The legal troubles of Calderon and Sen. Roderick Wright have given new power to Republicans who lost their relevance in the 2012 election that gave Democrats a supermajority in both houses. Gov. Jerry Brown has urged Democrats to use their power judiciously, holding the line on major new spending despite rebounding state revenues.
California law requires that proposed constitutional amendments, new taxes and fees and ballot propositions win by a two-thirds vote of the lawmakers in each house.