by Shaun Rundle, Government Affairs Specialist
Despite record low voter turnout, the November 4 California General Election results rocked both the legislature and existing California laws. There was no clear pattern in the legislators and measures selected, and many races continue to be counting ballots.
While Democratic Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris easily won reelection, Democratic supermajorities were lost in both the Assembly and Senate. Democrats retained their majorities in both houses, but neither will be able to pass bills requiring a two-thirds vote without Republican support. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins of San Diego attributed some losses to the low voter turnout, while Senate vulnerability came as a result of the three senators who faced criminal charges this past year. State Senate District 35 in Southern California continues to be vacant following the resignation of Roderick Wright, with a special election taking place on December 9, 2014, and a runoff (if necessary) occurring on February 10, 2015.
Regarding ballot measures, voters approved Proposition 47, the controversial measure which requires misdemeanor sentences instead of felony for certain drug and property offenses. Along with other law enforcement coalitions, CPOA continues to oppose Prop 47, which we believe weakens the safety of statewide law enforcement personnel, and the citizens they serve.
The newly elected members of the legislature will be sworn in at the State Capitol on December 1, 2014 and the 2015-2016 legislative session will commence on January 5, 2015.
Visit us again each Monday during the legislative session beginning in January 2015 to find out WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE CAPITOL! To view previous posts, click here