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.
California would begin automatic voter registration under a bill making its way through the state Legislature. The measure passed an Assembly committee today.
It’s shaping up to be a hot, dry summer in California. And rules governing outdoor work conditions have been modified to keep people better protected.
California depends on gas tax revenues to maintain its roads. But that revenue is declining. Now the state is looking for volunteers to try out a new funding method, but volunteering could cost you money.
California lawmakers are considering imposing limits on short-term online rental services like Airbnb. A Senate committee took up the issue today.
California Governor Jerry Brown is calling on local water agencies to adjust their pricing structures as a way to promote conservation. But a state court ruling issued today could undermine those efforts.