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.
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California is tapping into reserves to pay for the cost of fighting wildfires.
The official portrait of Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been unveiled and historian says Schwarzenegger’s image reflects the changing nature of gubernatorial portraits.
UPDATED: Gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Neel Kashkari debated Thursday night. Watch a replay here, or listen to a reply at 9 a.m. Friday on the News Station, in place of Insight.
California’s earthquake early warning system is up and running – but there’s no money or infrastructure to distribute alerts to the general public yet. A conference at UC Berkeley Wednesday discussed the issue.
The California Legislature is expected to adjourn its two-year session just past midnight Friday. It's an early end to what has so far been a surprisingly calm final week.