California Senate’s Liberal Agenda Faces Uphill Climb in Assembly

It’s been a year for high-profile liberal legislation in the California Senate, which earlier this month passed a sweep of politically ambitious proposals around poverty, tobacco use and the environment.

Several appear headed for approval, including a set of aggressive renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals shared by Gov. Jerry Brown, and an expansion of health care for undocumented children that was funded in the budget.

Others await a much tougher slog in the Assembly. While also dominated by the Democratic Party, which traditionally aligns with organized labor, the Legislature’s lower house has agrowing “moderate caucus” that is generally more receptive to the concerns of the business community. Those members helped kill or stall a number of union priorities before June’s deadline to pass bills out of their house of origin, including legislation to require two weeks’ notice for workers’ schedules.

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