Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Sep. 6, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Friday, Sep. 6, 2013 – 7:52 am

Democrats won two-thirds supermajorities in both legislative houses last year, but have employed that power only rarely since.

Party leaders consciously delayed action on tax increase measures, aware that Gov. Jerry Brown is reluctant on that front and knowing that many Democratic legislators share that reluctance.

Now, because of resignations and the loss of one special election to fill a vacancy in the Senate, those supermajorities no longer exist, at least until the empty seats are filled.

One of the rare times the supermajority functioned was last spring when the Senate voted 27-0 for Senate Bill 391, which would impose fees on real estate transaction documents to raise money for low-income housing, at least $300 million a year.

It would, in effect, address a problem that the Legislature itself created when it abolished city redevelopment agencies two years ago.

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