Key Issues For Returning California Legislature

by Jeremy B. White and Laurel Rosenhall, The Sacramento Bee

state Capitol

Public Domain

Here we go again.

A new year means a new Legislature, complete with 37 new lawmakers, 38 new committee chairs and three leaders new to opening session atop their caucuses. They will bring a burst of activity to downtown Sacramento, where the corridors of the state Capitol, the coffee shops and the restaurants will soon hum with staff, lawmakers and lobbyists plying their trade.

“It’s huge for us,” said Ambrosia manager Kim Anderson, pointing both to more customers at the popular K Street cafe and opportunities to cater events like a flurry of post-swearing-in receptions. “It’s the 11th largest government in the world, so a lot of people. Lobbyists, legislative staff, interns. We get busy again.”

Another massive freshman class was already inaugurated in December amid speeches and glittering special interest-sponsored receptions. Those state government neophytes will join a substantial class of second-term lawmakers elected in 2012. Elected under new term limit rules, the two waves of relatively inexperienced legislators could together shape California policy for a decade.

There will be no shortage of issues to occupy them. …

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