There is no reason for California to maintain a bicameral legislature. Since the Reynolds v. Sims ruling, state Upper and Lower houses in most US states have been effectively identical, and nowhere more so than in California, where the Senate is merely a half-sized copy of the Assembly with arbitrarily differing powers. It would be only sensible, in terms of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and fairness, to consolidate the houses into one, and then, ideally, expand the membership. Furthermore, this legislature should utilize mixed-member proportional representation, with representatives elected to single-member districts (SMDs) making up part of the Legislature, and the remainder of representatives elected according to selection of their parties on the ballot, taking into account the parties of the SMD representatives in order to maintain overall proportionality in the Legislature.
Such a legislature has multiple benefits, especially to California, such as that:
-It allows for representation of a greater diversity of ideas, making room for third parties and reducing the likelihood of sustained dominant-party politics.
-It does away with unnecessary legislative procedures, as there will be a single house with consolidated legislative responsibilities.
-It reduces the measure by which minority opinions are marginalized by powerful majorities.
-It stunts the influence of gerrymandering and redistricting since the Legislature as a whole will always be strictly proportional, and redistricting will not affect its overall partisan makeup.
Though neither of these reforms would singlehandedly solve California's mismanagement woes, they would bring greater representation to the people of the state as well as accountability to the parties and leaders that they elect, and would promote greater efficiency in lawmaking overall. I believe California would be well-suited to adopt proportional representation in its government.
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