The 80 members of the ___________ are elected two-year terms. Under Proposition 140, ___________ members may serve a maximum of three terms (six years).
The 40 members of the senate are elected for four-year terms. The senators are limited to a maximum of two terms (eight years). The size and representation of each assembly and senate district is extremely important in the balance of democratization.
Typically, the majority party in the legislature will manipulate the district boundaries to increase its number of "________" (noncompetitive) __________. More importantly, the process gives an unfair advantage to the majority party in open-seat races.
Corruption, ideological and institutional __________, and budgetary politicking gave momentum to government reform efforts, through the results have been underwhelming. While legislators collect annual paychecks of $99,000, plus generous expense accounts, the multi-billion-dollar state budget still languishes each year past its constitutional deadlines. While ________ __________ continues to dominate both houses, special interests have been amassing war chests to circulate confusing, often self-serving, propositions onto the California ballot through the initiative process.
The lieutenant governor is technically the senate's presiding officer, yet he or she is rarely present and votes only to break a tie. The presiding officer of the senate is the ________ __________ ________, who also sits as ex officio chair of the powerful Senate Rules Committee. The senate ________ __________ ________ is third in line of succession should the governor and lieutenant governor be unable to administer their offices or are absent from the state.
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
The ________ __________ ________ __________ has long be regarded as the second most important office in the state. Other than the governor, no one commands more centralized power, visibility, and control over legislation as the office once dubbed the "Imperial Speakership." The _________ can also influence the nomination of other majority leadership positions - including the speaker pro tempore, majority floor leader, and caucus chair. Successful __________ have maintained party discipline by centralizing campaign contributions from influential special interests who wish to curry favor with the majority party. During assembly elections, the __________ has traditionally used his or her campaign war chest and consultants on behalf of his or her party faithful in order to win or retain legislative seats.
Speaker of the Assembly
A tool that citizens can use to amend the state constitution of establish a state statute. To place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, petitioners must gather the signatures of 8 percent of registered voters (based on the number of voters in the last gubernatorial election).
This gives voters the power to cancel a piece of legislation approved by the legislature and the governor before it actually goes into effect. Typical legislation (except for urgency measures) have a time delay of 90 days after passage before law is enacted. The __________ has rarely been used at the state level because of the difficulties of gathering so many signatures within a 90-day window. In one recent exception, voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 163, overturning the state "snack tax" in 1992.
The second type of __________, which is used more frequently, follows the state constitutional requirements that all legislatively based efforts to sell bonds, as well as all legislatively sponsored constitutional amendments, be put before the voters. Thus, it is by legislative action rather than by petition that this type of referendum appears on the ballot.
The __________ is a special election held to remove an elected official before his or her term expires. The ________ had never been used successfully against a statewide-elected official before Governor Gray Davis was removed from office in 2003. In order to mount a _______, petitioners must gather signatures of 12-20 percent of those who voted in the last election. If this effort is successful, a special election is held to decide whether to remove the official before the end of his or her term. A _______ is not the same as impeachment, which is available to the legislature if it seeks to remove a sitting official for malfeasance.