Democrats appear to have picked up a supermajority in both houses of the state Legislature Tuesday night, a surprise outcome that gives the party the ability to unilaterally raise taxes and leaves Republicans essentially irrelevant in Sacramento.

Democrats were long expected to gain a two-thirds advantage in the Senate, but Assembly Speaker John PĂ©rez had downplayed expectations that the party could win a supermajority in the lower house. The party's apparent capture of 54 seats in the 80-member Assembly and 27 in the 40-member Senate would mark the first time in nearly 80 years that one party controlled two-thirds of both houses, according to Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg.