Can California’s Legislative Supermajority Act Responsibly?

After a thunderstorm of post-election recounts across the Golden State, it appears that Democrats have reclaimed a supermajority in the California Legislature.

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Whatever one’s political sway – and this applies to national election results, as well – it’s important for all voters to respect that “the people have spoken,” turn the page and hope for the best.

Having said that, as a proud entrepreneur, supporter of my community, rancher and surfer, I love the great state of California and want nothing more than to see our economy and future thrive for generations to come. To that end, I thought it might be timely to offer our new crop of Democrats in the State Capitol a few words of instructive advice before they settle in all too soon. 

First and foremost, think carefully about the consequences of your agenda. There are more than a few rumblings about the new Legislature and governor poised to tackle many big issues in the new year – issues for which the two-thirds vote, in my opinion, play a critically important role in assuring a level of caution and restraint. Transportation and infrastructure reform, climate change, affordable housing are some of the hot-button items that appear looming on the legislative horizon. To many, these may seem noble and venerable priorities and opportunities for an improved quality of life. But at what cost – literally? Will these trailblazing new policies be funded on the backs of small business owners, working families and future generations through taxes, fees, levies, assessments and other costs? Californians already pay the highest income tax, statewide sales tax, gas taxes, minimum wage and myriad fees to comply with onerous regulations. A bold agenda is one thing, but crippling our small employers and communities with hordes of new, unanticipated costs is another – and one that will further prolong our state’s economic and jobs recovery. Think before you act.

Second, don’t forsake your Republican colleagues in the Legislature – they represent voters, too. It may be easy for some to render the GOP irrelevant – but they’re not. And neither are the many, many voters in their districts who are looking to them for hope, help and a future bursting with promise. The Moderate Democrats are and will continue to be a vital bloc, focused on advancing a pro-business agenda within their party. I am hopeful that they will remain true to their words on the campaign trail and match their actions with their slogans – and inspire others within the Democratic Party to follow their direction. But no one should ever count the Republicans out in California – theirs is a party of ideas, individualism, and economic success. A one-party rule can have dire consequences if the majority fails to heed the thoughts, ideas and concerns of everyone in the electorate. Work across the aisle every day, respect the GOP, and it will result in better policy for everyone in the long haul.

Finally, it’s time to focus on making California government work more efficiently for the people. It’s time to clean up the still-obscene piles of waste, paper, logjams and errors that are ultimately treating taxpayers like a non-stop ATM. I hope our leaders and others will join me in making this a primary focus and priority in 2017 and beyond. I’m committed to this cleanup because I’ve heard from one too many small business owners, seniors, veterans and community leaders that our politicians and bureaucrats are still spending hard-earned tax dollars like drunken sailors (apologies, drunken sailors). Our new supermajority should halt discussions about new spending and first look to eliminate much of the inefficiencies and frivolity that have grossly infected our mammoth government beast. Our leaders should continue a bipartisan crusade for historic pension, workers’ comp and unemployment insurance reform – all costs that threaten to leave our children’s children with irreparable debt. And the new legislature must continue to insist on opening the books of every department, agency and operation, demanding answers to where our money is being spent, and seeking alternatives or reductions that will improve efficiency and keep more resources in the pockets of families, consumers and “mom and pops”?  We should all urge our legislators to push for increased transparency and accountability with every single program and activity so that Golden State government works for us, not for itself. We need to regularly audit our expenses. It’s something every job creator must do each day if they want to keep their doors open; why shouldn’t the “body politic” which we’re all funding be held to that same standard?

November 8th is finally behind us. The ads have stopped running, the polls have closed, and the people have, indeed, spoken. Now is not the time for protests, sour grapes, crossed arms or furrowed brows. Now is the time for our newly-electeds to take a breath, take their oath of office, and take their job seriously. I’m hopeful that the new supermajority will remember to think about the impact of their agenda, work with Republicans who still represent and serve many voters out there, and fight vigorously to make our government more efficient – and affordable – for all of us. That’s the California wave all of us will be proud to ride for many years to come.

Wayne Hughes, Jr. is a California businessman, philanthropist and founder of SkyRose Ranch and Serving California in Central California which treats veterans with PTSD and other disorders. Find out more @BWayneHughesJr


  1. retiredxlr8r says

    “…act responsibly…”
    You have got to be kidding?
    Have they, as yet, done so? Not that I have seen.
    Governor Brown is not interested in the People. His agenda is personal and selfish, along with Newsom, the “super majority” and our current Senators.
    California is lost and I have no faith or trust that the current crop of democrats who seek to be served by the people will result in anything other than the hidden debt we have now and the irresponsible management of California’s resources.
    Sorry, but that is what I see…..and my Family has been here for well over 100 years.

  2. retiredxlr8r, you nailed it. Our family came in the early ’20’s and I grew up in the ’50’s. A wonderful time that we will never see again. The huge influx of illegals and fools like Brown and Newsom sucking up to them for more votes has ruined this once great State. Brown has given us the highest taxes to fund the “climate hoax” and his choo-choo to nowhere. And of course, the money spent on those “boondoggles” could have gone to a sustainable water supply based on De-salinazation. But “NO” screamed the eco-fascists who control brown and the incompetent legislature. No more damns or deadly De-salinazation plants on the Coast. They put too much “salt” into the ocean!
    I’d move tomorrow but am too old. However, my kids and grandkids are in the planning stages. The “legislature” better be careful as the only tax payers you will have left are the poor illegals and goofy babra streisand and leonardo (the sky is falling) decaprio to fund everything.

  3. Please STOP, I can’t laugh any more without passing out.

  4. @Anziani, you left out nuclear plants. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) leave a comparatively minimal radioactive footprint.
    @Mr. Hughes. Sadly you are whistling past the graveyard albeit very eloquently. From the Democrat (far from Democratic) perspective, “We won, You Lost”. Don’t be surprised if they rename the Legislature the “Duma” and the LA Times and SF Chronicle “Pravda South” and “Pravda North” respectively.

  5. TheRandyGuy says

    “It may be easy for some to render the GOP irrelevant – but they’re not.” Of course they are – the people have chosen the “free stuff” party for decades. Bothering to vote as a R is the definition of pointless. Predictably, many will continue the exodus to better places – I’m gone in four years.

  6. Jose Curvo says

    I sincerely appreciate the event tempered and helpful tone of this article, but..
    Having seen the current crop of liberal loons and Hispanderers in Sac, we are voting one LLASch tgesT time with our feet (and a moving van) in the first quarter of e2017.
    California might turn around in 15-20 years or so, but I don’t have that much time to wait around and watch these idiotas raise taxes and fees on what few working people remain here, to take care of their Hispanic constituents, many of whom come here illegally to drop their American citizen anchor babies on our soil to turn on the benefits tap…
    We’ll be watching Cali from afar and working diligently to prevent Colorado from being completely Californicated …
    The job market is better in Colorado, even if the weather isn’t…

  7. True Teacher says


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