In all, 45 states, the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico passed 31,005 new laws in 2010. Some of them will come into effect with the new year. Here is a sampling of some of the trends in lawmaking in 2010.
California is moving ahead with a massive high-speed rail project, with construction of the first link set to begin early next year. The project could put the state in the vanguard of a transportation revolution – but is it more a dream than reality?
Nonpartisan group Americans Elect wants to mount a third-party challenge in Election 2012, and it just qualified for the California ballot. A third-party candidate could get traction, experts say.
California handed redistricting to a nonpartisan commission to help break the state's chronic gridlock. The new political maps, it is becoming apparent, could do more than that.
California's ballot-initiative process has roiled that state for 100 years. Legislators are now proposing reforms to bring it under control.
A Republican member of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors wants his county and 12 others to secede from California and form the 51st state. His colleagues gave him an unenthusiastic go ahead Tuesday to explore the idea.
Several voter-approved propositions helped resolve the typical California budget dysfunction this year. With new reforms, a new budget, and fix-it Gov. Jerry Brown, the future of the Golden State could be brightening.