Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state elections.
The absence of exciting California state races could depress turnout in 2022, which in turn could have consequences in elections for the House.
State Democrats just dodged an issue that could have motivated GOP turnout.
Despite, or perhaps because of, an aggressive last-minute push by progressive activists ahead of a crucial deadline, legislation to create a government-run universal health care system in California died Monday without coming up for a vote.
The single-payer measure, Assembly Bill 1400, was the latest attempt to deliver on a longtime priority of Democratic Party faithful to get private insurers and profit margins out of health care. Because it was introduced last year, when it stalled without receiving a single hearing, it needed to pass the Assembly by Monday to continue through the legislative process.
But even the threat of losing the party’s endorsement in the upcoming election cycle was not enough to persuade the Assembly’s Democratic supermajority to advance the bill for further consideration, effectively killing the effort for another year.
After several tense hours Monday afternoon, during which a scramble of meetings took place just off the Assembly floor, Assemblymember Ash Kalra, the San Jose Democrat carrying AB 1400, announced that he would not bring up the measure for a vote.
Republicans were eager to make it into an election issue this year. Though Kalra’s bill was largely conceptual, with a separate measure introduced to address the financing, they attacked it as a massive tax hike on Californians. (Kalra proposed a series of taxes on businesses and high-earning households to fund the single-payer system, estimated by legislative analysts to cost between $314 billion and $391 billion annually.) A 4,000-page petition signed by voters who opposed AB 1400 sat in the back of the chamber on Monday for Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron of Escondido to use as a prop in a floor debate that never happened.