Democrats have increased their majorities to two-thirds in both the California Assembly and Senate. That supermajority means they could pass tax increases without any Republican votes, and even could overturn vetoes by the governor, who, like every other statewide elected official, also is a Democrat.
Said Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, “This just gives us 54 people (out of 80 Assembly members) that we know are going to come together on Day 1 to focus on improving the economy.”
But there’s no way more tax increases could “improve” the economy. Especially since voters just approved Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s initiative to increase taxes by $6 billion. California already had the highest sales tax of any state; Prop. 30 makes it even higher, at 8 percent in Orange County. And it pushes the top state income tax rate to 13.3 percent, jumping over Hawaii’s formerly highest U.S. state rate, 11 percent.
“Hold onto your wallet,” Jack Pitney told us; he’s a professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College. “There will be a substantial number of legislators who see this as an opportunity to pass their wish list. And the wish list comes at a price tag. The question is: How many legislators will recognize the danger of overreacting?”