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Skelton: Democrats looking to flex muscles in Capitol

December 6, 2012 |  7:00 am

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Skelton

The word of the moment in Sacramento is "overreach." Political observers are watching to see what Democrats will do with their new two-thirds majority in the Legislature, and if they'll trigger a backlash from voters by pushing too much, too fast.

In Thursday's column, George Skelton says Democrats will likely push their power as much as they can. 

"Democratic legislators do feel a responsibility — an obligation — to push their liberal constituents’ agendas while they have an opportunity," Skelton writes. "The electorate did, after all, arm them with these supermajorities. Why squander the power?"

Leaders like Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) will be tasked with finding the right balance. He's said that more tax hikes aren't on the table, but he's also looking to restore some of the cuts to social services made during California's budget crisis. 

The nonpartisan legislative analyst estimated the state will face a $1.9-billion budget deficit next year. That's much smaller than the $15.7-billion gap bridged this past summer, but it may still make it difficult for Democrats to increase spending.

All of Skelton's columns are here.

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Photo: Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg reacts at a news conference last month after the election of a Democratic supermajority in the Legislature. Credit: Randy Pench / Sacramento Bee

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