New Legislators Take Oath, Introduce Bills
Three County Supervisors Join Assembly
The new California Legislature, which includes three county supervisors and two other county elected officials, took their oath and elected their officers on Monday, Dec. 3. The leaders of the two houses took the occasion to give their views on what the new session might hold. The rank-and-file took the occasion to begin introducing bills that they hope shape the next two years.
Senator Darrell Steinberg, reelected as the body’s President Pro Tem, acknowledged the two-thirds majority Democrats have achieved in both houses. He recognized the warnings about the possibility of Democrats overreaching, but gave notice that he did not plan to be so timid as to not “get meaningful stuff done.” He laid out a broad outline for dealing with future-year surpluses: for each dollar of surplus, put one-third into a reserve, one-third into reducing budgetary debt, and one-third to restoring cuts.
Assembly Speaker John Pérez took a quieter approach, not mentioning the two-thirds supermajority, but instead giving a nod to the recent legislation that had support on both sides, like pension reform and responding to the mortgage crisis.
A number of legislators introduced bills on the first day of session, dealing with everything from reviving local economic development policies to providing civil rights to homeless people to divvying up energy efficiency money to exploring internet voting. Be sure to visit the policy areas in this Bulletin and in the coming weeks for listings of relevant bills.
In several important ways, this is a new-look Legislature. No one knows exactly how the effects of new districts and new term limits for freshmen will play out as the session continues. And many members will no doubt be jockeying for both higher office in advance of the 2014 election and for leadership posts within the Legislature as both current leaders reach the limit of their terms.