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From paid family leave to a $15 minimum wage, California Democrats have led the nation on pushing several progressive policies into law.
With Gov. Jerry Brown out of office and Gavin Newsom at the helm, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon sees an opportunity for the state to move even further to the left.
“There’s a lot about Gavin that has people excited, and that’s a good thing,” Rendon said in a recent interview with The Sacramento Bee’s California Nation podcast.
At the beginning of the year, Rendon said he met with progressive groups and offered them a simple message: “Be ambitious.”
“We have a progressive governor and we have a progressive legislature,” Rendon said. “We have 61 Democrats, and my message to them was we don’t run elections so that we can look at the scoreboard and be proud of the numbers we have. We run elections to make good policy that has an impact on peoples’ lives. I think the governor’s certainly part of that equation.”
The leader of the Assembly also said he sees an opportunity to push bolder policies that run counter to what he’s seeing nationally under President Donald Trump.
“Donald Trump influences elections,” Rendon said. “He’s been helpful in getting Democrats elected not only here but nationally, too. That naturally influences the policy that comes out of this building.”
Fellow Democrats Assemblyman Todd Gloria, Sen. Ben Allen, Sen. Bob Hertzberg, Sen. Connie Leyva and Sen. Hannah Beth-Jackson also spoke with the California Nation podcast and highlighted some of the most progressive policies that have come out of California in the last decade.
Reporter Hannah Wiley also highlighted a new batch of left-leaning bills being considered at the Capitol.