Leader says lost supermajority won't hinder Senate

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The state Senate leader says major issues facing the Legislature, including a water bond and reshaping the state's rainy day fund, can be addressed this year despite the loss of Democrats' supermajority.

Democrats' two-thirds majority in the Senate ended when Sen. Ron Calderon took an indefinite leave of absence this week after being indicted on federal corruption charges. Last week, Sen. Roderick Wright took leave after he was convicted of voter fraud and perjury.

Their departures drop Democrats' majority to 26 in the 40-seat chamber, one less than they need to raise taxes, pass emergency legislation and put constitutional amendments before voters without Republican support.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said Monday that Democrats had used their supermajority sparingly so far and will seek to cooperate with Republicans.