State Legislature Spotlight: California

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4 mins read

How many houses are there in the state legislature? 

Two: the State Assembly and the State Senate

How many legislators are in each house? 

The State Assembly has 80 members and the State Senate has 40 members.

How long has the state government been blue or red? 

The California Assembly and State Senate have been blue since 1970.  This article discusses California’s public shift to blue in detail

When does the legislature sit? 

In 2020, the legislature will be in session from January 6, 2020, through August 31, 2020.

How long is a term? Are there term limits? If so, what are they? 

The members of the Assembly serve two-year terms.  Members of the Senate serve four-year terms. Legislators are limited to a maximum of 12 years, whether they serve those years in the Assembly or the Senate.

How many votes does it take to override the governor’s veto? 

It takes a two-thirds vote of both houses is required to override the governor’s veto.

What areas do state representatives focus on most?

In 2019 legislators focused on affordable housing, which is a huge issue in California.  They also focused on the environment, worker protections and education and healthcare funding.

What are the legislators paid in each house? 

 Members of the California State Assembly and the State Senate are paid $110,459 per year plus per diem when in session.

Are legislators legally obliged to disclose other interests and paid work, and/or put assets into a blind trust?

Every California elected official is required to submit a Statement of Economic Interests, Form 700. There is no requirement to put assets in a blind trust. 

What % of the total population (voters and non-voters) elected the representatives in each house? 

64.5% of registered voters elected the California Legislature.

What % of the total population (voters and non-voters) elected the representatives in each house?

32.15% of the total population voted in 2018.

How closely do these percentages match the apportionment of seats?

In the State Assembly in 2018 Democrats got 66.76% of the vote, and 75% of the seats.  Republicans got 32.47% of the vote but received on 25% of the seats. In the State Senate Democrats got 64.9% of the vote and 72.5% of the seats.  Republicans got 31.76% of the votes, but 27.5% of the seats.

How can people register to vote in your state?

People in California can register to voter online by going to a Secretary of State website: https://registertovote.ca.gov.

How can voters find the nearest polling place in your state? 

Voters can find their polling place by going to https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/polling-place.

How can voters identify and contact their state representative(s)? 

 Voters can go to https://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov where they can enter their address and find the names and contact information for their representatives.

Are there any unique quirks to your state government?

All primary elections, except the presidential primaries, are “jungle primaries.”

Tell us a fun fact!

The grizzly bear on the California state flag was modeled after one that William Randolph Hearst captured and put on display.


Interested in profiling your state legislature? Contact Kelly!


DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.


Mindy Schwartz is a blogger, life-long political activist, pet nutritionist, wife, daughter, dogmom, DemCast USA Managing Editor and Jew. She is equally proud of all of those roles.

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