Working families in California will be getting help soon thanks to Democrats in the California legislature.
What a difference a Democrat makes - having a Democrat in the governor’s office and a supermajority in both houses of the legislature, that is.
In 2010, as California’s Republican Governor was on his way out the door, the state was figuring out how to address a $19 billion budget deficit. Huge deficits were nothing new to the Golden State: they had faced a $16 billion deficit in 2008 and a jaw-dropping $41 billion deficit in 2009.
Now, California is facing budget surpluses.
In the days after Election 2012, which saw Democrats surge to a two-thirds supermajority in the California Legislature, Republicans insisted that the pendulum would soon swing back their way - that with "lower turnout" and "President Barack Obama no longer at the top of the ticket," voters would return the GOP to relevance in 2014. But three factors suggest the opposite may be true, and California Democrats may continue to rise in next year's midterms.
First, it turns out that the new Democratic supermajority is extremely popular with voters. Conversely, California Republicans remain in free-fall, recently dropping to fewer than 29% of the state's registered voters. But most importantly for 2014, a recent analysis pairing Assembly election results and President Obama's district-by-district performance reveals that even after their 2012 surge, Democrats still have more opportunities for growth than Republicans.
2013 may be remembered as the year that Democratic efforts to protect and expand voting rights re-asserted themselves. In just the past few weeks, Democratic legislation has advanced in at least four states - California, Oregon, Colorado, and Maryland - that would remove significant barriers to voting while protecting the integrity of our elections.
Republicans in all four states, naturally, oppose the efforts.