CalWatchdog Morning Read – Election Day

  • CalWatchdogLogoHow much would a Democratic supermajority in Sacramento matter legislatively?
  • What races we’re watching
  • Cultural significance of California’s U.S. Senate race
  • CSU tuition increase?
  • Toxic air detected in Paramount 

Good morning. Happy Election Day. There are so many storylines today, but the one we’re paying the most attention to is the balance of power in the California Legislature.

True, Democrats will still control the Legislature no matter what happens. But we’re interested in individual races, like Lopez/Bocanegra, and in how many women will get elected, particularly in the Assembly. The main thing we’re paying attention to is whether Democrats achieve a two-thirds “supermajority.” 

While that would be a major disaster for Republicans politically — if it were to happen — it would likely have little effect on the legislative process if recent history is any guide. 

In fact, most of the larger defeats over the last year or so have been due to intraparty fighting. It was mostly moderate Democrats who last year weakened landmark environmental legislation, SB350. This year, they struck again when they initially killed a measure expanding overtime protections for farmworkers.  

In those instances, the moderates formed a majority with Republicans, which means both share the blame (or praise). But while Republicans often get blamed, the truth is that there aren’t enough Republicans to block most votes. It was Democrats solely who twice sank a Democratic bill expanding parental leave — once by a Democratic majority on a policy committee (possibly due to a grudge) and then a revived version was vetoed by the Democratic governor, Jerry Brown.

Democrats need to flip two seats in the Assembly and one in the Senate to get a supermajority — and it’s possible. With a supermajority, Democrats would have the power to increase taxes, override gubernatorial vetoes (which rarely happens) and change legislative rules without Republican votes.

CalWatchdog has more.

In other news: 

  • Here’s a rundown of the more competitive races we’ll be paying attention to.

  • Just a reminder how important the U.S. Senate race is, at least from a cultural perspective.

  • Non-election news: “Cal State students next year might see the first tuition increase system-wide in more than five years,” reports the San Bernardino County Sun

  • “Air quality regulators are investigating metal-processing facilities in the city of Paramount after detecting a potent cancer-causing metal at 350 times normal levels,” reports the Los Angeles Times

Legislature:

  • Gone till December. 

Gov. Brown: 

  • Voting this morning around 8:30 a.m. at the Boys and Girls Club, 1117 G Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Tips: [email protected]

Follow us: @calwatchdog @mfleming

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