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Legislative supermajorities at a glance

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POSTED November 15, 2012 9:08 p.m.



Some facts about a legislative supermajority:

— Democrats will have 54 seats in the Assembly when the Legislature convenes in December, just reaching the two-thirds threshold in the 80-member chamber.

— Democrats needed 27 seats in the 40-member Senate for a supermajority, but won at least 28 with the Central Valley's 5th Senate District still undecided.

— A supermajority allows the ruling party to approve tax increases, pass emergency legislation, override gubernatorial vetoes and change house rules without votes from the other party.

— This marks the first time either party has gained a supermajority in either chamber since California voters passed Proposition 13 in 1978. The initiative raised the legislative vote threshold to pass tax increases to two-thirds.

— A single party last held supermajorities in both chambers in 1933, when Republicans did it.

— Democrats last held simultaneous supermajorities in both chambers in 1883.

— The last Assembly supermajority was in 1978, when it was held by Democrats.

— The last Senate supermajority was in 1965, when it was held by Democrats.

— Republicans have not held an Assembly supermajority since 1933.

— Republicans last held a Senate supermajority in 1953, according to the secretary of the Senate.

— The last time a governor's veto was overridden was in 1979, while Jerry Brown was serving his first two terms as governor. Two-thirds of lawmakers voted to override two bills, one relating to state employees and the other to insurance. Lawmakers also overrode eight items in the budget bill in 1979.

— Previously, there had been only two vetoes overridden since 1973.


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