Difference between revisions of "California State Assembly"

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Revision as of 00:16, 3 July 2013

California State Assembly

Seal of California.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   3 terms (6 years)
2015 session start:   December 3, 2012
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  John Perez, (D)
Majority Leader:   Toni Atkins, (D)
Minority Leader:   Connie Conway, (R)
Members:  80
   Democratic Party (52)
Republican Party (28)
Vacancy (1)
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
The California State Assembly is the lower house of the California State Legislature. There are 80 members to the Assembly, representing a relatively equal amount of constituencies. Each member represents an average of 465,674 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 420,000 citizens. Due to the state's large population and relatively small legislature, the Assembly has the largest population per representative ratio of any lower house legislature in the United States; only the federal U.S. House of Representatives has a larger ratio. California is the only state with state legislative districts more populous than its U.S. House districts.

Since the passage of Prop 140 in 1990, members of the Assembly are limited by term limits to a maximum of three two-year terms (six years).

As of May 2015, California is one of 7 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 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature is in session from December 3, 2012 to November 30, 2013.

Major issues

With a newly-gained super-majority (which might not last long), Democrats have to decide how to use their new powers, among which is the ability to pass tax increases without any Republican support. Major issues for the session include property taxes for education and tax breaks for students.[2]


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. [3]


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.


See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

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 was 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.[4]



See also: California State Assembly elections, 2012

Elections for the office of California State Assembly were held in California on November 6, 2012. All 80 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline for candidates was March 9, 2012.

California state assembly members are subject to term limits, and may not serve more than three two-year terms. In 2012, 21 state representatives were termed-out of office.

The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.


See also: California State Assembly elections, 2010

Elections for the office of California State Representative were held in California on November 2, 2010. State assembly seats in all districts were on the ballot in 2010.

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: [5]


See also: California State Assembly elections, 2008

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:[6]


See also: California State Assembly elections, 2006

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:[7]


See also: California State Assembly elections, 2004

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:[8]


See also: California State Assembly elections, 2002

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:[9]


See also: California State Assembly elections, 2000

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:[10]


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.


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

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[11].


See also: Redistricting in California

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission -- made up of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four independents -- is responsible for redistricting.

2010 census

California received its local census data on March 7, 2011.[12] The fastest growing counties were Riverside (41.7 percent), Placer (40.3 percent) and Kern (26.9 percent) -- all inland locations.[13]

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.[14][15]


Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 52
     Republican Party 28
Total 80

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the California State House of Representatives from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the California State House.PNG


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.[16]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, California State Assembly
Office Representative Party
Speaker of the Assembly John Perez Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Nora Campos Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Majority Floor Leader Toni Atkins Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Assistant Majority Floor Leader Anthony Rendon Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Majority Whip Chris Holden Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway Ends.png 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.[17]

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.[18]


California does not provide pensions for legislators who took office after 1990.[19]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

California legislators assume office one month after election (December).

Current members

Current members, California State Assembly
District Representative Party Assumed office
1 Brian Dahle Ends.png Republican 2012
2 Wesley Chesbro Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
3 Dan Logue Ends.png Republican 2008
4 Mariko Yamada Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
5 Frank Bigelow Ends.png Republican 2012
6 Beth Gaines Ends.png Republican 2011
7 Roger Dickinson Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
8 Ken Cooley Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
9 Richard Pan Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
10 Marc Levine Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
11 Jim Frazier Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
12 Kristin Olsen Ends.png Republican 2010
13 Susan Talamantes Eggman Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
14 Susan Bonilla Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
15 Nancy Skinner Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
16 Joan Buchanan Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
17 Tom Ammiano Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
18 Rob Bonta Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
19 Phil Ting Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
20 Bill Quirk Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
21 Adam Gray Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
22 Kevin Mullin Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
23 Jim Patterson Ends.png Republican 2012
24 Rich Gordon Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
25 Bob Wieckowski Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
26 Connie Conway Ends.png Republican 2008
27 Nora Campos Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
28 Paul Fong Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
29 Mark Stone Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
30 Luis Alejo Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
31 Henry T. Perea Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
32 Rudy Salas Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
33 Tim Donnelly Ends.png Republican 2010
34 Shannon Grove Ends.png Republican 2010
35 K.H. Achadjian Ends.png Republican 2010
36 Steve Fox Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
37 Das Williams Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
38 Scott Wilk Ends.png Republican 2012
39 Raul Bocanegra Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
40 Mike Morrell Ends.png Republican 2010
41 Chris Holden Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
42 Brian Nestande Ends.png Republican 2008
43 Mike Gatto Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
44 Jeff Gorell Ends.png Republican 2010
45 Vacant
46 Adrin Nazarian Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
47 Cheryl Brown Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
48 Roger Hernandez Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
49 Edwin Chau Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
50 Richard Bloom Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
51 Jimmy Gomez Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
52 Vacant
53 John Perez Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
54 Holly Mitchell Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
55 Curt Hagman Ends.png Republican 2008
56 Manuel Perez Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
57 Ian Charles Calderon Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
58 Cristina Garcia Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
59 Reginald Jones-Sawyer Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
60 Eric Linder Ends.png Republican 2012
61 Jose Medina Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
62 Steven Bradford Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
63 Anthony Rendon Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
64 Isadore Hall, III Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
65 Sharon Quirk-Silva Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
66 Al Muratsuchi Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
67 Melissa Melendez Ends.png Republican 2012
68 Donald P. Wagner Ends.png Republican 2010
69 Tom Daly Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
70 Bonnie Lowenthal Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
71 Brian Jones Ends.png Republican 2010
72 Travis Allen Ends.png Republican 2012
73 Diane Harkey Ends.png Republican 2008
74 Allan R. Mansoor Ends.png Republican 2010
75 Marie Waldron Ends.png Republican 2012
76 Rocky Chavez Ends.png Republican 2012
77 Brian Maienschein Ends.png Republican 2012
78 Toni Atkins Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
79 Shirley Weber Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
80 Lorena Gonzalez Electiondot.png Democratic 2013

Standing committees

California Assembly has 30 standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, California
Partisan breakdown of the California legislature from 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.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of California, the California State Senate and the California House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of California state government(1992-2013).PNG

Legislative budgets

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).[20]

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.[21]

External links


  1. Population in 2010 of the American states
  2. San Francisco Chronicle, "Calif. Democrats ponder their new power," December 2, 2012
  3. California Legislature, accessed June 16, 2011
  4. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  5. Follow the Money: "California Assembly 2010 Campaign Contributions"
  6. Follow the Money, "California 2008 Candidates," Accessed June 18, 2013
  7. Follow the Money, "California 2006 Candidates," Accessed June 18, 2013
  8. Follow the Money, "California 2004 Candidates," Accessed June 18, 2013
  9. Follow the Money, "California 2002 Candidates," Accessed June 18, 2013
  10. Follow the Money, "California 2000 Candidates," Accessed June 18, 2013
  11. Justia "California Code"(Referenced Statute, 1773-California Government Code)
  12. 'San Francisco Chronicle "California census data to be released Tuesday," March 7, 2011
  13. Ventura County Star "With numbers now established, redistricting debate begins," March 9, 2011
  14. Los Angeles Times "Redistricting-plan opponents given OK to begin referendum drive," August 26, 2011
  15. Ventura County Star "Redistricting Commission gives final approval to new political maps," August 15, 2011
  16. California State Assembly Officers
  17. NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
  18. Empire Center, "Legislative Salaries Per State as of 2007"
  19. USA Today, "State-by-state: Benefits available to state legislators," September 23, 2011
  20. Sacramento Bee, "Bass slices Assembly office budgets -- 10 percent", May 11, 2009
  21. Sacramento Bee, "California Assembly refuses to make public its members' budgets", August 2, 2011