Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 – 12:35 am

Two years ago, as a collateral effect of President Barack Obama’s landslide re-election win in California, Democrats gained two-thirds “supermajorities” in both legislative houses.

It sparked a torrent of private and public speculation over potential impact on legislative issues, such as tax increases and constitutional amendments, that the controlling party might pursue.

However, the supermajorities have not, at least so far, been significant factors in what emerges from the Capitol, despite pressure from liberal groups to use them.

Why? Gov. Jerry Brown is clearly ambivalent, especially on tax increases, blocs of moderate Democratic legislators are reluctant, and legislative leaders have feared backlash if they appeared to be arrogant.

So far this year, the Senate’s supermajority was used to approve a constitutional amendment rolling back the state’s constitutional ban on affirmative action in college admissions, but it has yet to clear the Assembly and be placed on the ballot.

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