Bills reflect Calif. Democrats’ ambitious agenda

February 23, 2013 • Business

FILE — In this Jan. 24, 2013 file photo, Gov. Jerry Brown, center, gives his State of the State Address, flanked by Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, left, and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, right, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. With super majorities in the California Legislature, Democrats have begun to chart an ambitious legislative agenda that includes gun control, revenue increases, voting rights, environmental protections and other proposals that would make significant changes to California law if passed and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli,file)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Emboldened by their supermajorities in the Legislature, Democrats have begun to chart an ambitious agenda outlined in the hundreds of bills they introduced before last week’s deadline.

From gun control to revenue increases, voting rights to environmental protections, their proposals would make significant changes to California law if they pass and win support from Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

Outnumbered Republicans said they can only hope to have a say in shaping that agenda as they introduced their own bills, many of which are intended to modify or repeal measures adopted by majority Democrats in recent years.

The two-thirds majorities in the Assembly and Senate won by Democrats during November’s election give them the power to unilaterally increase taxes, pass emergency legislation, override gubernatorial vetoes and put constitutional amendments before voters. While their supermajorities are being undermined temporarily as some lawmakers resign to take new offices or jobs outside government, Democratic leaders are confident they ultimately will maintain the two-thirds threshold in both houses.

A Field Poll released last week found that 55 Login to read more

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