Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

So now we know. When the Legislature reconvenes next month for brief organizational sessions, it will have historic Democratic supermajorities – 54 Assembly members and 29 senators.

However, when it returns to Sacramento in January, supposedly to do its real work, those numbers will change, because two Democratic senators will resign to take their seats in Congress, and that will touch off a game of musical chairs.

Those two departing senators, Juan Vargas and Gloria Negrete-McLeod, will almost certainly be succeeded by Democrats, most likely members of the Assembly who then would have to resign, thus sparking special elections for their seats that would stretch over most, of not all, of the 2013 session.

By winning 29 Senate seats, Democrats could lose Vargas and Negrete-McLeod and still have a 27-senator supermajority, which means they could, in theory, move legislation – tax increases and constitutional amendments – without Republican votes.

But it’s more theory than reality. There are at least four Democratic senators who would be very uncertain votes for major legislation that falls into the “very liberal” category, especially if it adversely affects business interests.

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