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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Recent scandals in California's senate have put ethics in the spotlight and Capital Public Radio's Katie Orr spoke with former staffers to see what the discussion is like when no one is looking.
Any genetically modified food product sold in California would have to come labeled as such under a bill that passed a state Senate committee Tuesday.
One of the biggest battles at the California state Capitol two years ago is back for another debate. Hunting groups want to repeal the ban on using dogs to hunt bears and bobcats.
More than 50 committee hearings, ethics training and a new special legislative session are on the docket for California lawmakers this week as they return to the Capitol following their spring break.
California health advocates want tight state oversight of health plans to ensure Medi-Cal patients get timely care under the Affordable Care Act.