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 Democrats and progressive groups hoping that strong state budget revenues would help them make the case for new spending will likely be disappointed by April income tax collections.
Bills that would deal with pay gaps between companies' CEOs and workers, and create four-year community college degrees moved forward in the legislature Thursday, while a measure would requiring kill switches on smart phones and tablets stalled.
Nurses across the state are calling for greater protections from violent patients. Lawmakers will vote on a bill today that would require hospitals to do more to prevent violence at their facilities.
California employees owed back wages would be able to place a lien on their former employer’s property under a bill that cleared the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee Wednesday.
Four candidates for California’s Secretary of State covered issues from vote by mail elections to business licenses in a debate today. And they didn’t disagree on much.