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Progressives Want Legislative Democrats to Wield Supermajority Power

Jan 2, 2013

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Now that Democrats hold a supermajority in both chambers of the California legislature, activists want them to use it to push a more progressive agenda. 

Progressives say they want lawmakers to restore cuts they say hurt the most vulnerable Californians, such as cuts to education, social services, and health care.

Joshua Pechthalt is President of the California Federation of Teachers. He says elected officials shouldn’t worry about a voter backlash similar to what happened in the 2010 elections.

"I don’t think there really is a political overreach, it has to be done tactfully, it has to be done strategically, but I think what we’re looking for is moving an agenda that really benefits the broad majority of Californians," says Pechthalt.

Pechthalt says lawmakers should replace the two-thirds vote required to pass local tax measures with a simple majority requirement. And he says they should consider an oil severance tax. Democratic leaders in the legislature have called for restraint in exercising their supermajority power.