Voters in this state continually tell pollsters that their number one concern is jobs and the economy. Following the election, I have to wonder if the new legislature will take that concern to heart when they fashion legislation.
Given the political changes in this state, job creation and economic growth may rest in the hands of a group of so-called moderate Democrats. Who are they? Elected Democrats who don’t always follow the most progressive agenda. Democrats who understand that their small business constituents need the utmost consideration and cannot be buried under new government mandated burdens because they are the ones who create jobs and make the economy hum.
The main point in considering how the legislature will respond is that the field of moderate Democrats has increased. That could be a good thing for the job creators. Especially since—and this is not certain as I write this because votes are still being counted—the Democrats may achieve the two-thirds supermajority in both houses. That success allows them to pass taxes and put constitutional amendments on the ballot.
Because of California’s top two primary, system there were many races in which two Democrats faced each other in the General Election. Business community members looked for and tried to help business-oriented Democrats. In a good portion of those races, the moderate Democrats were elected.
We’ll have to wait and see, of course, how these newly-elected solons act when it comes to casting votes. There can be pressure from party leaders or the governor on certain progressive issues. Will the “Mod Squad”, as the moderate Democrats are called, truly hold the line?
Will they fight to hold steady and reduce soaring small business costs that ultimately hurt entry-level working men and women? Will they work to stem still-overreaching environmental and labor regulations that are stifling job creation and innovation? Will they work to pave the way for continued legal reform that reduces frivolous lawsuits that are less about justice and more about personal profit?
The Democratic Party members don’t walk in lock step. The moderate wing just may be the fulcrum around which lawmaking in this next legislative session depends. Only time will tell, but voters should make every effort to inform their representatives about the principles of job creation and economic growth and what it means for their district and California – and hold them accountable through the next looming election day.