The number of women in the 120-member Legislature has fallen from a peak of 37 in 2006 to 32 this year. Groups that promote women running for public office are concerned the trend will continue this election year.
They also worry about how the drop-off will affect policy decisions.
Bettina Duval, president of CALIFORNIALIST, which has raised more than $1 million to support female candidates, fears women could lose three to five legislative seats this year. That would accelerate the gradual decline.
California ranked sixth in the nation in the percentage of women serving in the Legislature in 2004 but now ranks 19th.
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.