California State Assembly
|California State Assembly|
|Term limits:||3 terms (6 years) if elected before 2012; 12 years if elected in or after 2012|
|2013 session start:||December 3, 2012|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||John Perez, (D)|
|Majority Leader:||Toni Atkins, (D)|
|Minority leader:||Connie Conway, (R)|
| Democratic Party (53) |
Republican Party (25)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art IV, California Constitution|
|Salary:||$95,291/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (80 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (80 seats)|
|Redistricting:||California Citizens Redistricting Commission|
Since the passage of Prop 28 in 2012, legislators first elected on or after November 6, 2012 are limited to a maximum of 12 years. Prop 140, passed in 1990, effects any members elected prior to November 6, 2012 and limits them to a maximum of three two-year terms (six years).
As of December 2013, California is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas.
Article IV of the California Constitution establishes when the California State Legislature, of which the Assembly is a part, is to be in session. Section 3 of Article IV states that the Legislature is to convene in regular session on the first Monday of December in each even-numbered year to organize. The Legislature must adjourn by November 30th of the following even-numbered year.
Section 3 also gives the Governor of California the power to call special sessions of the Legislature.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature is projected to be in session from January 6 to September 12.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from December 3, 2012 to September 13, 2013.
Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included property taxes for education and tax breaks for students.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Assembly was in session from January 4 to August 31.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Assembly will be in session from January 3- September 9, 2011. The California Legislature was convened in an extraordinary session to act upon legislation that addresses the fiscal emergency proclaimed by Governor Jerry Brown on January 20, 2011. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the Assembly began its regular session on January 12th, and this session is scheduled to adjourn on August 31st. Additionally, the Assembly adjourned one special session on January 11th of this year, had one ongoing special session that convened in October of 2009, and had another ongoing special session that convened on January 8th, 2010.
Ethics and transparency
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. California was given a grade of D in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
The signature filing deadline for candidates was March 9, 2012.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, California State Assembly|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 20||Bill Quirk||0.7%||133,139||Jennifer Ong|
|District 40||Mike Morrell||0.8%||129,546||Russ Warner|
|District 50||Richard Bloom||0.9%||185,185||Betsy Butler|
|District 18||Rob Bonta||1%||150,287||Abel Guillen|
|District 10||Marc Levine||2.4%||188,394||Michael Allen|
|District 60||Eric Linder||3.6%||117,043||Jose Luis Perez|
|District 65||Sharon Quirk-Silva||4.1%||132,564||Chris Norby|
|District 5||Frank Bigelow||4.6%||157,364||Rico Oller|
|District 59||Reggie Jones-Sawyer||4.6%||77,468||Rodney D. Robinson|
|District 67||Melissa Melendez||4.7%||128,462||Phil Paule|
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was February 25, 2010, and the primary election day was June 8, 2010.
In the 2010 elections, the candidates running for the Assembly raised a total of $77,405,341 in campaign funds. Their top 10 contributors were: 
|2010 Donors, California State Assembly|
|California Democratic Party||$6,711,171|
|California Republican Party||$1,759,884|
|Sacramento County Democratic Central Cmte||$612,026|
|California Association of Realtors||$585,754|
|California Teachers Association||$580,141|
|Los Angeles County Democratic Party||$556,653|
|California Dental Association||$499,849|
|Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians||$442,300|
|California State Council of Laborers||$424,500|
Elections for the office of California State Assembly consisted of a primary election on June 3, 2008 and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total contributions to Assembly candidates was $84,390,298. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, California State Assembly|
|California Democratic Party||$7,602,050|
|California Republican Party||$3,000,235|
|California State Council of Service Employees||$698,400|
|California Medical Association||$649,849|
|California Teachers Association||$637,100|
|Sacramento County Democratic Central Cmte||$517,093|
|California Dental Association||$504,132|
|California State Council of Laborers||$448,600|
|California Association Of Realtors||$435,450|
Elections for the office of California State Assembly consisted of a primary election on June 6, 2006 and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total contributions to Assembly candidates was $91,726,959. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, California State Assembly|
|California Democratic Party||$7,373,474|
|California Republican Party||$2,305,627|
|Sacramento County Democratic Central Cmte||$1,549,999|
|Stanislaus County Democratic Central Cmte||$790,720|
|San Diego County Democratic Party||$745,000|
|California Teachers Association||$715,255|
Elections for the office of California State Assembly consisted of a primary election on March 2, 2004 and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total contributions to Assembly candidates was $94,287,806. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, California State Assembly|
|California Democratic Party||$5,691,897|
|Poizner Family Trust||$5,313,732|
|California Republican Party||$3,313,653|
|Sacramento County Democratic Central Cmte||$780,000|
|Santa Clara County Democratic Central Cmte||$601,291|
|San Diego County Democratic Party||$590,994|
|California Teachers Association||$578,275|
|San Diego County Republican Central Cmte||$560,562|
Elections for the office of California State Assembly consisted of a primary election on March 5, 2002 and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total contributions to Assembly candidates was $73,822,064. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, California State Assembly|
|California Democratic Party||$5,496,476|
|California Republican Party||$1,644,888|
|California Teachers Association||$538,340|
|California Association of Realtors||$519,610|
|California State Council of Service Employees||$465,000|
|California Medical Association||$459,080|
|California Building Industry Association||$421,934|
|California School Employees Association||$421,468|
|California State Council of Laborers||$417,027|
Elections for the office of California State Assembly consisted of a primary election on March 7, 2000 and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total contributions to Assembly candidates was $85,228,873. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, California State Assembly|
|California Democratic Party||$8,282,040|
|Assembly Democratic Leadership 2000||$5,659,968|
|Assembly Republican PAC||$1,480,071|
|California Republican Party||$1,294,968|
|California Teachers Association||$1,022,156|
|California Association of Realtors||$806,217|
|California Correctional Peace Officers Association||$798,039|
|California Friends of Latino PAC||$711,731|
|Association of California Insurance Companies||$698,768|
|California School Employees Association||$692,864|
To run for Member of the Assembly, the candidate must be a United States citizen and a registered voter in the district at the time nomination papers are issued and may not have served three terms in the State Assembly since November 6, 1990. According to Article IV of the California Constitution, the candidate must have one year of residency in the legislative district and California residency for three years.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the Assembly, the Governor must call for a special election. The election must be called by the Governor within fourteen days of the vacancy. No special election can be held if the vacancy happened in an election year and the nominating deadline passed.
- See also: Redistricting in California
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission -- made up of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four independents -- is responsible for redistricting.
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission approved maps on August 15, 2011. The final votes were 13-1 on the Senate and Assembly maps and 12-2 on the Congressional map. Republican Michael Ward voted no to both maps while Jodie Filkins Webber joined Ward in dissenting on the Congressional map. A referendum to overturn the Senate map was initiated in August 2011.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of December 2013|
The Speaker of the Assembly presides over the Assembly in the chief leadership position, controlling the flow of legislation and committee assignments. The Speaker is elected by the majority party caucus, followed by confirmation of the full Assembly on passage of a floor vote. Other Assembly leaders, such as the majority and minority leaders, are elected by their respective party caucuses according to each party's strength in the chamber.
|Current Leadership, California State Assembly|
|Speaker of the Assembly||John Perez||Democratic|
|State Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore||Nora Campos||Democratic|
|State Assembly Majority Floor Leader||Toni Atkins||Democratic|
|State Assembly Assistant Majority Floor Leader||Anthony Rendon||Democratic|
|State Assembly Majority Whip||Chris Holden||Democratic|
|State Assembly Minority Leader||Connie Conway||Republican|
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the California legislature are paid $95,291 per year. They are also given per diem of $141.86 per day in session.
The $95,291 that California legislators are paid is a decrease from the $113,098/year that they were paid during legislative sessions in 2007. The per diem however has increased from 2007 levels of $162 per day.
California does not provide pensions for legislators who took office after 1990.
When sworn in
California legislators assume office one month after election (December).
California Assembly has 30 standing committees:
- Accountability and Administrative Review
- Aging and Long-Term Care
- Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media
- Banking and Finance
- Business, Professions and Consumer Protection
- Elections and Redistricting
- Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials
- Governmental Organization
- Higher Education
- Housing and Community Development
- Human Services
- Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy
- Labor and Employment
- Local Government
- Natural Resources
- Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security
- Public Safety
- Revenue and Taxation
- Utilities and Commerce
- Veterans Affairs
- Water, Parks and Wildlife
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the California State House of Representatives for all 22 years. The California State House is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. During the final three years of the study, California was under Democratic trifectas.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Arkansas state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. California has never had a Republican trifecta, but did have Democratic trifectas between the years 1999 and 2003 and again after 2010 to the present. California fell steadily in the SQLI ranking until finally reaching the bottom-10 in 2010. The state reached its highest ranking (28th) in 1998 and 1999, first under divided government and then under a Democratic trifecta. The state’s lowest ranking (48th) occurred recently in 2012 under a Democratic trifecta. Except for the years 1995 and 1996, the California legislature has been consistently under Democratic control.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 37.00
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: N/A
- SQLI average with divided government: 35.21
Each member of the California State Assembly is given an annual budget of about $290,000 with which to hire staff and run their office. Assembly Speaker Karen Bass said on May 11, 2009 that she planned to cut this amount by about 10%, or $29,000 per year per each of the 80 members of the Assembly).
Open Records push:
On August 1, 2011, the California State Assembly stated that the public has no right to know the individual budgets of assembly members. This came about after Assemblyman Anthony Portantino raised an issue stating that his budget was cut after casting the only Democratic vote against the recently passed controversial budget. As a result, he and several media outlets requested that the budget information be made public so that the people could see if members were being punished or rewarded for voting a certain way. The Assembly Rules Committee claimed that such documents are exempt from the Legislative Open Records Act.
- Official website of the California State Assembly
- Official list of current members of the California State Assembly
- California Legislative District Maps (1911-Present)
- Map of Assembly Districts
- Assembly Republican Caucus
- Assembly Democratic Caucus
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states, accessed November 22, 2013
- ↑ San Francisco Chronicle, "Calif. Democrats ponder their new power," December 2, 2012
- ↑ California Legislature, accessed June 16, 2011
- ↑ Sunlight Foundation Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information, accessed June 16, 2013
- ↑ Follow the Money: "California Assembly 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ Follow the Money, "California 2008 Candidates," Accessed June 18, 2013
- ↑ Follow the Money, "California 2006 Candidates," Accessed June 18, 2013
- ↑ Follow the Money, "California 2004 Candidates," Accessed June 18, 2013
- ↑ Follow the Money, "California 2002 Candidates," Accessed June 18, 2013
- ↑ Follow the Money, "California 2000 Candidates," Accessed June 18, 2013
- ↑ Justia "California Code"(Referenced Statute, 1773-California Government Code)
- ↑ 'San Francisco Chronicle "California census data to be released Tuesday," March 7, 2011
- ↑ Ventura County Star "With numbers now established, redistricting debate begins," March 9, 2011
- ↑ Los Angeles Times "Redistricting-plan opponents given OK to begin referendum drive," August 26, 2011
- ↑ Ventura County Star "Redistricting Commission gives final approval to new political maps," August 15, 2011
- ↑ California State Assembly Officers
- ↑ NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- ↑ Empire Center, "Legislative Salaries Per State as of 2007"
- ↑ USA Today, "State-by-state: Benefits available to state legislators," September 23, 2011
- ↑ Sacramento Bee, "Bass slices Assembly office budgets -- 10 percent", May 11, 2009
- ↑ Sacramento Bee, "California Assembly refuses to make public its members' budgets", August 2, 2011