There were 12 special elections for California legislative seats in 2013 – some caused by resignations, others by lawmakers moving to higher office. Los Angeles County alone spent 12 million dollars on those elections. So Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg is calling for a constitutional amendment that would replace those elections with gubernatorial appointments – just as when a U.S. senate seat goes vacant.
“Here’s the reality, since the beginning of session this last year, when you look at the Assembly and Senate together, we have not had one day yet where we’ve had a full complement of members.”
Republicans say Democrats want to change the rules because they haven’t fared well in some of the special elections, which often have low voter turnout.
A separate proposal would consolidate municipal elections with statewide elections. Many cities, including Los Angeles, hold their elections in odd-numbered years. Not even a quarter of registered LA voters cast ballots last June.
More Capitol Coverage
Take a tour of the California state Capitol - but not just any tour. This one includes a little history, some surprising details that are easy to miss, and a rare trip to the top of the Capitol dome.
It can be very expensive to run for office in California. Turns out, it can be expensive to maintain an office after you have won it as well.
The University of California Board of Regents is set to debate a proposed tuition increase Wednesday. UC President Janet Napolitano’s plan would raise tuition by five percent for the next five years – unless the state increases the UC's funding.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari is up with a new TV ad that criticizes Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.
California is tapping into reserves to pay for the cost of fighting wildfires.