Phil Matier: Supermajority Poses Its Own Set of Problems For California Legislature
SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – The possibility that a supermajority of Democrats will control both houses of the California Legislature does not guarantee an end to the gridlock in Sacramento.
Before the new group of lawmakers is sworn in, you can expect a lot of infighting and backstabbing among Democrats as they jockey for position in the new order.
KCBS, CBS 5 and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier:
Neither the governor nor the legislative leadership can count on all 54 Democrats in the Assembly and or all 27 Democrats in the state Senate. Former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown said loyalty on a given issue often hinges on simple perks.
“People want things like an office with a window. You don’t have 54 offices with windows. They want a parking stall where they can get that car out themselves,” Brown said.
It may sound petty, but Brown said these are sometimes the issues that determine whether a lawmaker on the fence votes to pass a budget. Throw ideological differences into the mix with no Republicans to fight anymore, and the only way to get anything done is by reaching across the aisle.
“You can’t satisfy everybody on every crazy idea that they have for enacting in the law,” Brown said. His solution, “find the logical, rational, reasonable Republicans who will on any given day substitute for this ingrate that’s giving you a bad time in the supermajority.”
One thing the new legislative leaders have in their pockets already is the passage of Proposition 30, which former Speaker Brown said should be seized as a mandate from voters that it’s OK to raise taxes without a ballot initiative.
“A quality legislative leader may need to roll the governor on that nonsense that you need to wait for people’s approval on tax raising. People sent you there to do the people’s business. Do it.”
Whether they try to raise revenue through taxes of fees, I predict the governor will insist they change environmental regulations and workplace rules the business lobbyists always complain about.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)