The so-called Democratic “super-majorities” in the California Legislature after this election are a first this century, but it is really nothing special. In Congress and most states only a simple majority is required to raise taxes and pass a budget. There, a “super-majority” is just a “simple majority.”
California voters noted the wisdom of ending political gridlock when they voted to eliminate the two-thirds vote requirement to pass the annual state budget. After all, the definition of a democracy is majority vote rule.
In any event, the one-vote, razor-thin two-thirds majorities in the California Assembly and Senate will come and go during the next two years. Two State Senate members were elected Nov. 6 to Congress, and special elections will be needed to fill these seats.
If members of the Assembly run and win for the vacant Senate seats, then elections will be needed to fill these Assembly seats. Musical chairs as elected officials are elected or appointed to other offices and even occasional deaths in office provide change in the makeup of the California Legislature almost every two-year term.
Attorney General Kamala Harris has been mentioned for a federal appointment, and a member of the California Legislature could be appointed to her post by the governor if she leaves. Plus, it is not out of the question for the president to appoint someone from the Legislature to a federal post in his new administration. For example, Assembly Speaker John Perez is Latino, gay and a former union organizer … three of the demographics that helped reelect the president.
So don’t let the naysayers suggest that California is headed toward a fiscal cliff because of “super-majorities” for Democrats in the California Legislature. The two-thirds majorities will flicker on-and-off for at least the first year. Plus, Democratic majorities include numerous conservative Democrats and also Democrats elected for the first time from conservative, Republican-leaning districts who promised their voters no tax-and-spend binge or a flood of liberal programs.
Plus, Gov. (Jerry) Brown has already axed new taxes without a vote of the people. “Super-majorities” is just another term invented to get voters agitated and angry. Don’t be fooled. Wait and you will see.
Rich Milner, Cool