Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Bumper crop of new state lawmakers takes office in Sacramento Monday

Ian Calderon (D-LA) is taking over his father's seat in the Assembly.
Ian Calderon (D-LA) is taking over his father's seat in the Assembly.

Redistricting, and California’s new election laws, produced a bumper crop of new state lawmakers and half of them hail from Southern California. They get sworn in Monday in Sacramento.

There are 38 new lawmakers, taking up nearly half of the Assembly’s 80 seats.  The usual turnover is closer to a third. 

Some of the new Assemblymembers from Greater Los Angeles include: Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach); Richard Bloom (D-LA); Raul Bocanegra (D-LA);  Ian Calderon (D-LA); Ed Chau (D-LA); Tom Daly (D-Orange); Cristina Garcia (D-LA); Jimmy Gomez (D-LA); Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-LA); Eric Linder (R-Corona); Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance); Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Orange); and Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita).

The Senate will swear in nine new members.  But only one of the new Senators, Richard Roth (R-Riverside), is new to the state legislature. The others all served in the Assembly: Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Ventura) was in the Assembly a few years ago. The other six Democrats come directly from the lower house, they include Ricardo Lara (D-LA) and  Steve Knight (R-San Bernardino).

The newcomers represent the first group of lawmakers to fall under California’s new term limits, which allow them to serve just 12 years instead of 14 — but potentially all of them in one chamber.  In the past they were limited to six years in the Assembly and eight in the Senate. That prompted Assembly members to jump to the senate whenever a seat opened up.  

The hope is that more of this year’s freshman class will stay put, building up expertise and leadership skills and creating more stability in the state house.

They’ll also take their seats as Democrats hold a two-thirds majority of both houses for the first time in over 70 years.