Elected Republicans represent nearly a third of California’s legislators, but are only getting 18 percent of their bills passed, for eventual consideration by Gov. Jerry Brown. This is despite the fact that they represent nearly 40 percent of the voters who cast ballots in the last election. And even worse, Brown so far has only approved about 16.5 percent of Republican bills, while Democrats saw 83.4 percent of their bills signed into law.
A few revealing statistics surrounding the outcomes for 2,550 new bills introduced during the recent 2017 session in the California Legislature point out which party gets to feast, and which can expect leftover crumbs.
As only the oblivious could must know, California’s two houses of state legislature are dominated by the Democratic Party’s supermajority. So it is reasonable to expect the Democrats to introduce and pass more legislation than their GOP counterparts, based on Democrat’s numbers alone.
In a totally fair system, Democrats should write and introduce about two-thirds of the bills, and about the same percentage of their bills could expect to make their way to the governor for approval or veto. In this same fair system, Republicans should produce about a third, and a similar number of those that pass and are sent to the governor should be GOP-sponsored bills.
But as the saying reminds us, life is not fair. A couple of smart friends helped me run the numbers from 2017’s recently closed legislative session. And numbers don’t lie :
Democrats introduced 74 percent — three quarters — of all the bills while the Republicans wrote only 26 percent — about a quarter of the legislature’s output. By house, it’s virtually the same in the Assembly (Democrats 74 percent – GOP 26 percent) as in the State Senate (Democrats 75 percent – Republicans 25 percent).
That’s a slight bias, but the numbers get far worse when it comes to passing legislation.
Democrats passed 382 (30 percent) of the overall 970 bills in the Assembly, while Republicans passed just 90 of theirs (20 percent). Democrats did a bit better in the Senate. There, they passed 202 (33 percent) of 514 bills overall, but the Senate still passed only 41 (20 percent) of those introduced by Republicans.
In all, Governor Jerry Brown — the top elected Democrat in California — received 715 bills from the legislature in 2017. Democratic bills represent 584 (82 percent) of the total, while Brown only saw 131 (18 percent) from GOP members.
Nearly a third of our state’s elected representatives are achieving legislative success of 18 percent in passing bills for eventual consideration by our governor, despite the fact that they represent nearly 40 percent of voters who cast ballots in the last election.
A final question remains. Will Jerry Brown, the state’s top Democrat, give Republicans even a paltry 18 percent of the bills he approves?
Early partial results taken October 6 suggest that Governor Jerry Brown will not. By that date, Brown only approved about 16.5 percent of Republican bills, while Democrats saw 83.4 percent of their bills signed into law.
Those on the left will probably applaud what California’s strong blue state voters accomplished in stacking every state office and over two-thirds of both houses of the state’s legislature with Democratic members.
Before their shoulders dislocate from self-congratulations, they should consider taking a moment to imagine how they’d feel if the shoe was on the other foot and Republicans held a supermajority. Better yet, they might consider the Republicans’ constituents left standing in the cold by one-party rule.
The bias demonstrated in these statistics taken from the recently passed legislative session suggest that, should voters eventually reverse course and elect a Republican supermajority into power — as they have on numerous past occasions — any remaining liberal main streets across California would surely ring with howls of righteous protest.
Based on the state of our great State, its present discourteous political discourse and this precedent set by the Democrats in 2017’s legislative session, it would be only fair and appropriate that their cries of anguish about bias and fairness go unanswered.
Katy Grimes’s new book, “California’s War Against Donald Trump: Who Wins? Who Loses?” co-authored with Jim Lacy, is available for purchase at Amazon
Bills Introduced: 2,550
Dem Bills Introduced: 1899
GOP Bills Introduced: 651
Bills Passed Both houses: 715 (28%) (Partial)
Bills to Gov. Brown 715 (Partial)
Bills Introduced: 1,732
Dem Bills Introduced: 1287
GOP Bills Introduced: 445
Bills Passed Assembly: 970 (56%)
Dem Bills Passed Assembly: 382
GOP Bills Passed Assembly: 90
Bills Passed Both Houses 472 (Partial)
Bills to Gov. Brown 472 (9/25/17) (Partial)
Bills Introduced: 817
Dem Bills Introduced: 611
GOP Bills Introduced: 206
Bills Passed Senate: 514 (63%)
Dem Bills Passed Senate: 202
GOP Bills Passed Senate: 41
Bills Passed Both Houses: 243
Bills to Gov. Brown 243 (9/25/17) (Partial)
Bills Received from Legislature: 715 (9/25/17) (Partial)
Dem Bills Received: 584
GOP Bills Received: 131
Bills Approved/Chaptered: 521 (10/6/17) (Partial)
Dem Bills Chaptered: 435 (10/6/17) (Partial) (83.4%)
GOP Bills Chaptered: 86 (10/6/17) (Partial) (16.5%)
Bills Received from Assembly: 472 (9/25/17) (Partial)
Dem Bills Received: 382
GOP Bills Received: 90
Bills Approved/Chaptered: 166 (9/27/17) (Partial)
Dem Bills Chaptered: 133 (9/27/17) (Partial) (80%
GOP Bills Chaptered: 33 (9/27/17) (Partial) (20%)
Bills Received from Senate 243 (9/25/17) (Partial)
Bills Approved/Chaptered: 83 (9/27/17) (Partial)
Dem Bills Chaptered: 63 (9/27/17) (Partial) (76%)
GOP Bills Chaptered: 20 (9/27/17) (Partial) (24%)