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Democrats gain supermajority in California Senate

LOS ANGELES — Democrats gained a two-thirds majority in the California Senate following Tuesday's election, bringing them close to the ability to pass tax increases without the need for Republican votes.

However, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown quickly cautioned that he already has pledged to take any further tax hikes to voters, as he did with the temporary tax increases that voters approved on Tuesday.

It is the first time since 1965 that Democrats controlled a Senate supermajority, and the only time since California voters passed Proposition 13 in 1978, raising the legislative vote threshold to pass tax increases to two-thirds.

Democrats will control at least 27 seats in the 40-member Senate and are closing in on the two-thirds margin in the Assembly as well.

Not only did voters increase Democrats' dominance, they also approved Brown's tax increases with passage of Proposition 30. The combination is enough to reverse what have been constant cuts in services to stop budget bleeding and creates "an opportunity to begin a new and better California," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.


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