Democrats Achieve Legislative Supermajority in Sacramento

Jan. 18, 2017

With the election of what should be the largest class of new legislators until 2024, the overwhelming majority of legislators are now serving under the new 12-year term limit, and the Legislature’s composition is generally set for the next seven years.

The 2016 general election resulted in Democrats securing a supermajority in both chambers of the Legislature. There are now more liberal Democrats, fewer Republicans, and a slight increase in the number of business-friendly (‘moderate’) Democrats.  The Senate now has 27 Democrats and 13 Republicans, while the Assembly has 55 Democrats and 25 Republicans.

This means Democrats now have almost unfettered ability to pass measures that can increase taxes, to place their own proposals on the statewide ballot, or to change the respective rules of each house to further their agenda – all without the support of Republicans.

Moreover, with the defeat of SB 1010 and Proposition 61 last year, coupled with a more liberal legislature, CLSA anticipates a more active legislative session, particularly around the ongoing hostile political environment on pricing issues and with the pressure to find a statewide solution on take-back for our members’ products.   In sum, the success achieved by defeating Proposition 61 and SB 1010, mounting public pressure for the legislature to affirmatively act on these issues, and a less politically moderate legislature will create a more challenging environment for our industry.

This unusual period of low turnover and stability makes CLSA’s outreach and political action efforts this year critically important. In preparing for this legislative session and beyond, CLSA endeavors to continue conducting more outreach and education activities with the legislature than in previous years.

Questions? Please contact Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Director, State & Local Government Policy (