Today is the first day on the job for the nearly one third of California’s legislators who took their oaths of office for the first time this morning. To help navigate the freshman members of the Legislature, LPA has developed a brief guide including a roster of the new members and their social media handles.
These first-time senators and assembly members join a historically diverse cast of lawmakers this session – at least 49 legislators are women, 36 are Latino and 12 are openly LGBTQ+ – record numbers for all groups. Californians also historically elected Asm. Bill Essayli as the first American Muslim in the Legislature and Asm. Jasmeet Bains as the first Sikh American and woman of Indian American descent to serve in the Assembly.
Two races remain too close to call that could adjust these figures. Democratic incumbent Melissa Hurtado leads Republican David Shepard by 12 votes in the race for Senate District 16, and Republican Greg Wallis is ahead of Democrat Christy Holstege by 35 votes in Assembly District 4.
Neither race will impact Democratic supermajorities in both chambers, meaning Democrats still have the ability to pass all legislation and raise taxes on a party line vote. To lead the supermajority in the Assembly, Democrats recently met to select their new speaker. Asm. Robert Rivas will take over from Speaker Anthony Rendon in June.
The new lawmakers have already hit the ground running. After being sworn in, the legislators gaveled in the 2023 legislative session along with a concurrent special session called by Gov. Newsom regarding gas prices and oil industry oversight.