Senate Dems slip below two-thirds
SACRAMENTO — A Central Valley lawmaker resigned unexpectedly Friday, creating a vacancy that dropped Democrats below the two-thirds threshold they need to pass tax changes or override vetoes. The loss, however, was expected to be temporary and not have major impacts on the majority party’s clout.
State Sen.Michael Rubio, a moderate Democrat from the San Joaquin Valley town of Shafter, which is near Bakersfield, announced that he was stepping down immediately to take a government affairs job with Chevron Corp. He was in the middle of his first term in the Senate after being elected with 60 percent of the vote in 2010.
His resignation comes on top of recent vacancies but Democrats were already expecting to face difficulties in some of their goals later in the year, such as cementing a controversial $150 fee on rural residents whose homes are at risk from wildfires. Republicans, meanwhile, were expected to have a difficult time capitalizing on the vacancies in Democratic-leaning districts.
In a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Rubio said the job of a legislator had kept him away too often from his wife and two daughters...