Shortly after the Nov. 6, 2012 election, California Democrats pledged not to abuse the privileges of their newfound supermajority status. Now it appears they may never get the chance.
Sen. Michael Rubio (D-Bakersfield) abruptly resigned his California Senate seat on Feb. 22. His departure reduced the roll of party legislators to less than the two-thirds threshold needed to push bills forward over GOP objection.
In an official statement, Rubio cited a need to spend more time with his family, but also disclosed that he recently accepted a lobbyist position with Chevron.
California Democrats still hold a supermajority in the State Assembly, but that position remains tenuous due to the prospect of some members eyeing what are now three vacant senate seats. The party would need a supermajority in both houses to undertake some of its more ambitious reform goals.
California Democrats’ best hope for regaining a supermajority lies in the 40th Senate District, a post recently vacated when Juan Vargas won election to Congress. Democrats hope Assemblyman Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) can snare enough votes in a March 12 special primary to eliminate the need for a May runoff election.