Senators Rod Wright and Ron Calderon have both requested indefinite leaves of absence from the Senate to deal with legal problems. Wright is appealing his conviction on voter-fraud and perjury. Calderon faces federal public corruption charges.
The loss of Calderon and Wright means the party is now one vote shy of the supermajority. But Democratic consultant Robin Swanson points out the supermajority means less now that the state budget can be passed with a simple majority vote.
“Because we have a majority budget passing, I don’t think that you’re going to see the sort of fights that we’ve had over the years when it required a two-thirds majority to pass a budget in California,” Swanson said.
The Senate President has said maintaining a supermajority is important, but maintaining the integrity of the Senate matters more.
Republicans today Monday held off on calling for either Wright or Calderon to be removed from the Senate. Calderon will be termed out at the end of this year. Wright’s term is scheduled to end 2016.
Health care advocates are concerned about a California law that allows the state to claim assets of deceased people who received health care through Medi-Cal.
UPDATE: Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders have released a new $7.2 billion water bond proposal, but there's no deal yet. To buy more time, lawmakers have extended Monday's key election deadline by 48 hours.
California senators approved a bill encouraging schools to educate students about Barack Obama's election in the context of past discrimination.
A water bond, a school bond, a statewide plastic bag ban and paid sick leave are all on California lawmakers’ agenda as they return Monday for their final month of session.
The California legislature is considering a bill that would prohibit law enforcement from using aerial surveillance drones without a warrant.