Today, Assembly Democrats get back to 52.
The heavily contested race to fill the Fresno seat vacated by former Assembly member Henry Perea ended last week in an outright win for Democrat Joaquin Arambula, thwarting Republican efforts to add to their recent column of Democratic seat pickups. Arambula, a doctor by trade, gets sworn in this morning when session starts at 9 a.m.
Because this was a special election, we get to do it all again soon. Holding Arambula’s seat will be part of Assembly Democrats’ strategy for picking up the additional seats needed to get back to the 54-seat, two-thirds supermajority thresh hold that essentially allows them to govern without any Republican votes. Overseeing the battle plan will be new Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, who has already named his top target for a Democratic reacquisition.
A side note about Arambula: he’s the the son of former Assemblyman Juan Arambula, so when he takes his seat on the Assembly floor he will be one of six serving children of former state legislators, along with Assembly members Ian Calderon (son of Chuck), Chris Holden (son of Nate), Kevin Mullin (son of Gene), Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (son of Mark) and Autumn Burke (daughter of Yvonne Brathwaite Burke). Add in the Senate and you get to eight with Anthony Cannella (son of Sal) and Tom Berryhill (son of Clare).
WATER WAYS: Winter rains help ease drought pain, surveyed voters explain. Take a look at the results and the statistical tabulations of the latest Field Poll on California’s water shortage, which suggests voters are loosening up as reservoirs start to fill.
AUTISTIC LICENSE: As the rate of reported autism cases has risen, the causes have remained something of a mystery (though it’s not vaccines). Today UC Davis researcher Irva Hertz-Picciotto will give a talk on expanding beyond the hunt for genetic causes to consider potential environmental effects, like pesticides and workplace chemicals, and what autism prevention might look like. Starting at noon at 1130 K Street.
CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, who turns 39 today.