Democratic Senators Introduce a ‘Climate Accountability’ Bill Package
On Monday, January 30, 2023, a group of Senate Democrats unveiled new versions of three climate bills that died in the Legislature last year.
On Monday, January 30, 2023, a group of Senate Democrats unveiled new versions of three climate bills that died in the Legislature last year.
On January 10, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom presented his proposed state budget to the Legislature. Subsequently, on January 13th, the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) provided a summary of the proposal and released a report. Specifically, in the report, the LAO provides an assessment of the budget and raises issues for legislative consideration.
On November 1, 2022 the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) released the fourth edition of its report Indicators of Climate Change in California. The report presents 41 indicators that track observed changes in the state’s climate and how these have impacted the physical environment, vegetation and wildlife, and human health. The report contains a new section highlighting how California Tribes have witnessed climate change.
On October 11, 2022 Attorney General Rob Bonta announced his appointment of Alastair MacTaggart to the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) Board. He replaces Board Member Angela Sierra and will begin his duties immediately. MacTaggart is the Board Chair and Founder of Californians for Consumer Privacy (CCP), which was the sponsor of Proposition 24, the Californian Privacy Rights Act (CPRA).
On September 7, 2022, Insurance Commissioner (IC) Ricardo Lara announced that he has submitted his insurance pricing regulation to the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL). According to him, the regulations "would recognize and reward wildfire safety and mitigation efforts made by homeowners and businesses." Further, as noted in a press release, Lara contends that "the regulation is the first in the nation requiring insurance companies to provide discounts to consumers under the Safer from Wildfires framework created by the California Department of Insurance (DOI) in partnership with state emergency preparedness agencies."
On August 2, 2022, McHugh Koepke & Associates announced Naomi Padron as the firm’s newest partner. Ms. Padron joined McHugh, Koepke & Associates in 2017 as a legislative advocate. She brings over a decade of political and public policy experience to helping the firm’s clients navigate the legislative and regulatory processes to achieve their desired outcomes. Padron joins the firm’s existing partners Gavin McHugh, Shari McHugh and Dawn Koepke.
On July 22, 2022 Governor Gavin Newsom pushed for California to “move faster to reach its climate goals, setting ambitious new targets for renewable energy, clean buildings, carbon removal, and clean fuels in the transportation sector.”
On June 24th, the board of directors of the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (CCEEB) announced appointing Tim Carmichael as its seventh President and CEO. Carmichael will join the CCEEB Team on July 1st and will succeed current President and CEO Bill Quinn upon Bill’s retirement on August 1st.
On June 30th, ahead of the new fiscal year, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the $307.9 billion state budget. The budget covers the 2022—23 fiscal year that began Friday, July 1st. Newsom, echoed by legislative leaders, has touted that this budget aims “to help address rising costs, tackles the state’s most pressing needs, builds our reserves, and invests in California’s future.”
Following a great deal of wrangling of stakeholders, the Legislature and Administration, Senator Allen (D-Santa Monica) saw his work on single-use packaging and single-use foodservice ware come to completion last week. SB 54 has been a work in progress for over four years, having been first introduced in 2019 and failing to pass each year thereafter amid a host of business community concerns and that of other stakeholders.
According to recently released data from Political Data Inc., which tracks voter turnout and related trends, only 18% of the 6.4 million Californians who are registered Independent, third-party or without a preference voted in the June 7 primary. That is in sharp contrast to 28% of Democrats and 30% of Republicans that voted. Lesson here is that candidates that run as independents, such as Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert in her unsuccessful campaign for California attorney general, face the risk of being swept out of the primary by Democrat and Republican voters who are more likely to turn out than independents in primary elections.
The California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) has begun the formal rulemaking process to adopt proposed regulations implementing the Consumer Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (CPRA), a law amending and building on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The CPPA's filing of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking starts a 45-day public comment period that ends on August 23rd. A hearing on the proposed regulations will occur on August 24th and 25th, 2022 at 9:00 am PDT.
Special elections are scheduled to replace the five lawmakers who have departed office early. Most recently, on February 3rd, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a special election in the 62nd Assembly District to fill the seat vacated by Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood). Burke resigned effective February 1st. The primary for the special election will be held on April 5, 2022. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will be subsequently held on June 7, 2022.
At a press event in Oakland, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation extending COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave. He also signed early budget action to provide an additional $6.1 billion in tax relief, tax credits and direct grants for businesses.
On January 28th, Attorney General Rob Bonta announced an investigative sweep of several businesses operating loyalty programs and sent notices alleging noncompliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). More specifically, letters were sent to “major corporations in the retail, home improvement, travel, and food services industries.” Companies will have 30 days to cure and come into compliance with the law.
Last week, lawmakers announced the formation of a Vaccine Work Group. According to the press release, the group seeks to develop evidence-based policies to strengthen the state’s ability to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases, while battling misinformation. Further, the group will examine data, hear from experts, and engage stakeholders to determine the best approaches to promote vaccines.
Last week, the Department of Finance (DOF) released the draft Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment (SRIA) for the Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) II regulations. The ACC II regulations will seek to reduce criteria and greenhouse gas emissions from new light- and medium-duty vehicles beyond the 2025 model year and increase the number of zero emission vehicles for sale.
On January 25th, Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County) announced that he will introduce AB 1694 to require, by January 1,2024 and annually thereafter, insurance companies operating in California to disclose investments in fossil fuel-related entities and the fossil fuel-related companies and projects it underwrites or otherwise insures. The bill would further require the Department of Insurance to publish that information on its internet website on or before April 1, 2024, and on or before each April 1st thereafter.
On February 2nd, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) announced his endorsement of the California Plastic Pollution Reduction and Recycling Act. More specifically, the measure – which has qualified for the November 2022 ballot – seeks to require CalRecycle to adopt regulations to (1) require that single-use plastic packaging, containers, and utensils be reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and require producers to source reduce such plastics placed in commerce by 25 percent, by 2030; (2) prohibit polystyrene container use by food vendors; and (3) tax producers no more than one-cent per single-use plastic packaging, container, or utensil placed in commerce by 1/1/2022, allocating revenues for recycling and environmental programs, including local water supply protection. Notably, the measure would also prohibit the Legislature from reducing funding to specified state environmental agencies for various natural resource purposes below 2019 levels.
Redistricting and term limits have spurred a wave of departures in the Legislature. A few lawmakers have been appointed, some are seeking new opportunities, a couple have resigned, and others have simply announced they won’t seek reelection.
Early Monday, April 13th, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara ordered insurance companies to return insurance premiums to consumers and businesses during the COVID-19 emergency. The Commissioner’s office said the shelter-in-place order across the state has reduced the overall risk of loss. According to a UC Davis Special Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on California Traffic Accidents, reduced driving has resulted in fewer accidents, injuries, and fatalities on public highways and roads. The Department of Insurance (DOI) press release also stated, “Falling payroll and receipts due to closure orders have also dramatically reduced risk of a liability loss for businesses.”...
Last week, California Attorney General (AG) Xavier Becerra urged support of the American Innovation and Manufacturing Leadership (AIM) Act to facilitate the phasing out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a refrigerant that is a potent greenhouse gas. More specifically, Becerra joined the attorneys general of Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia in sending a support letter to Congress on the bipartisan legislation....
Last, Friday afternoon, Senate President pro Tem Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced that they will now call the Senate and Assembly back to the Capitol on May 4th. The released media advisory issued stated, “the date changes the previous target return date, April 13th, under the guidance of public health officials who seek to minimize opportunities for COVID-19 infection.”...
On April 2nd, the Schools and Communities First Campaign, backers of the initiative to revise California’s Proposition 13 and allow for a split property tax roll, submitted 1.7 million signatures to get the measure on the November ballot. To qualify, a total of 997,139 signatures are required. Alex Stack, a spokesperson for the campaign, said the signatures being submitted to county registrars for validation underscore "the momentum and support for this initiative." According to their press release, the submission was “the most signatures ever submitted in California for a ballot initiative.”...
While the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) currently has three scheduled workshops mid-April to present information and solicit public comment on the SWRCB’s white paper on “Economic Feasibility Analysis in Consideration of a Hexavalent Chromium Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL),” staff indicates that they are re-evaluating the timing of the workshops amid the COVID-19 crisis. In this regard, we are told they are considering moving forward instead with a single webcast workshop on one of the dates previously noted and expect to release a revised notice, likely including a short extension to the written comment deadline, in the next few days....
The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) recently released draft joint supplemental guidance for screening and evaluating vapor intrusion. The draft guidance contains recommended improvements for vapor intrusion investigations and is intended to help promote consistency across the state, using attenuation factors recommended by USEPA....
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, many employees are working remotely. While telecommuting during this crisis can be beneficial for public health, it also presents unique challenges for employers, such as ensuring compliance with applicable expense reimbursement laws. During this time, the employer may need to reimburse the employee for any additional phone, internet, or other expenses incurred....
In response to SB 1422 (Portantino, 2018), the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) recently released its proposed definition of ‘Microplastics in Drinking Water’ for public review and comment. As you may recall, SB 1422 required the SWRCB to adopt a definition of microplastics in drinking water on or before July 1, 2020 and on or before July 1, 2021 to adopt a standard methodology to be used in the testing of drinking water for microplastics. The bill also included requirements for four years of testing and reporting of microplastics in drinking water, including public disclosure of that information....
The UCLA Anderson School of Management recently revised a forecast published on March 12th. The UCLA economists are now saying that the U.S. economy has entered a recession, ending the expansion that began eleven years ago in July 2009. Further, it is estimated California could be hit harder by this recession than the rest of the nation. The report specifically states, “For California, a state with a larger proportion of economic activity in tourism and trans-Pacific transportation, the economic downturn will be slightly more severe.”...
The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced today that in light of the developments related to Covid19, they do not intent to reschedule the Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) at this time to review the possibility of adding acetaminophen to the Proposition 65 list of carcinogens. As you will recall, the meeting was originally scheduled for December 5, 2019 but was postponed to allow for an extended public-comment period that has since closed....
On Thursday, California won the first round in federal court against the Department of Justice who filed a suit in October. The lawsuit challenged California cap-and-trade agreement done in collaboration with Québec. According to the Department of Justice, California’s collaboration with an entity outside of the United States is unconstitutional. The Department claimed that the agreement is nearly identical to an “independent foreign policy” and therefore should be referred to as a “treaty” that only the federal government can impose....
Last Friday, February 21st, was the deadline for bills to be introduced for the 2020 Legislative Session. Notably, on this final day, 735 new bills introduced between the two houses. A total of 2,203 bills were introduced for 2020, of which 1,527 were Assembly measures and 676 were Senate measures. These figures do not include special session bills, constitutional amendments, or resolutions. It should also be noted that Committees can still introduce bills past the deadline....
Recently, the Department of Finance (DOF) published its February Finance Bulletin, which provides an economic update and cash report. The bulletin noted that preliminary General Fund agency cash receipts for the first seven months of the fiscal year are $1.066 billion above the 2020-21 Governor’s Budget forecast of $81.614 billion....
On Tuesday, February 25th, Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent a letter to members of Congress with an update on the implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). In the letter, Becerra urged Congress to use federal legislation to build on rather than preempt the consumer rights and privacy protections made possible by the CCPA or other state law....
On Thursday, February 20th, during a press conference, Assemblymember Mark Stone (D- Scotts Valley) introduced AB 2570 that seeks to amend the California False Claims Act (CFCA). The bill seeks to expand the CFCA authority to allow the attorney general and other prosecuting agencies to investigate and prosecute fraudulent claims filed under the revenue and taxation code...
According to preliminary data released by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, insurance claims from the Camp, Woolsey, and Hill fires are up to an estimated $9.05 billion in actual losses for commercial and residential coverage, personal and commercial vehicles, and agricultural and other coverages. The deadly Camp Fire accounts for the bulk of the claims, with just over $7 billion of the total. It should be noted that as more claims are filed and processed, the total is expected to rise...
Following a federal regulatory ruling, California's Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is no longer pursuing a plan to place a tax on text messages. On Friday, state regulators announced that they were withdrawing the proposal “in light of” the Federal Communications Commission’s declaratory ruling classifying text messaging as information services, rather than telecommunications services. In their statement, the CPUC noted that the Federal Telecommunications Act limits state authority over information services...
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) recently published a survey that included information related to the policy priorities of Californians in advance of the next budget year. According to the key findings, four in ten people approve of Governor-Elect Newsom’s plans and priorities. In his campaign, Newsom highlighted a number of issues, including universal preschool, tuition-free community college, statewide universal health coverage, and building a high-speed rail system...
On Thursday, the Air Resources Board (ARB) approved amendments to the Cap-and-Trade program, specifically pertaining to the implementation of AB 398 (E. Garcia). The amendments aim to streamline the program and contain costs through 2030. Several of the major changes included were sought by business and industry groups in order to help keep the companies in California competitive against those out of state who do not have Cap-and-Trade obligations...
On Tuesday, at a fire station in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Governor Gavin Newsom outlined $105 million in new wildfire-related spending, in addition to $200 million approved by lawmakers last year. The specific details of the plan will be included in the budget due later this week. However, Newsom has said the bulk of the money will go toward forest management and fuel reduction...
Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to include with his budget a proposal expanding the state’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) Program. Therefore, a research brief recently released by the University of California, Berkeley's Think Tank on Early Childhood Policy is particularly timely. While the Berkeley think tank supports expanding coverage and enrolling more parents, it does not one shortcoming of the current program...
At a press conference on Tuesday, Assemblymember Phil Ting announced AB 161, also known as the “Skip the Slip” bill. As introduced, the measure would require businesses to issue receipts in electronic form by 2022, unless a customer specifically requests a hard copy of their proof of purchase be provided. If approved, businesses in violation would receive two warnings before being fined $25 for each day they are out of compliance, with a $300 cap annually. The penalties in Ting's bill are modeled on a similar bill seeking to reduce the use of plastic straws...
Prior to being formally sworn-in as California’s 40th governor, Gavin Newsom named Julie Su as secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Since 2011, she has served as state labor commissioner under Governor Jerry Brown. Newsom also named Lenny Mendonca as chief economic and business advisor and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Mendonca has been the co-chairman...
Last Friday marked outgoing Governor Jerry Brown’s final day of living in the historic governor’s mansion. Located at 16th and H in midtown Sacramento, near the state Capitol, the residence underwent a $1.6 million renovated in 2015. Brown and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, moved into the 142-year-old Victorian home subsequently after. He was the first governor to live there since Ronald Reagan in 1967. Now they are headed to their ranch in Colusa County...
Last week, a report was released by the Department of Insurance (DOI) detailing the progress of the California Organized Investment Network (COIN) program from 2011 through 2018. The mission of COIN is to generate investments in underserved communities. However, the program, which includes the Community Investment Survey (CIS) Data Call and the COIN Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Tax Credit, sunset...
The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) recently published a report pertaining to the next Census which will be conducted in 2020. The results of the Census are used in several ways, including to distribute seats in the House of Representatives, to determine legislative districts, and to inform the amount of federal funds allocated to states for certain programs. With this...
A recent study released by Spectrum Location Solutions, a firm that specializes in providing location advisory services, shows business flight out of California has accelerated. The findings indicate that in 2016, the year for which the latest data is available, about 1,800 businesses moved out or “disinvested” from the state. According to the firm’s principal...
Early this week, state lawmakers approved a 10-year extension for California's cap-and-trade program. Cap and trade provides flexibility and a favorable market based approach for achieving the required reductions in greenhouse gasses. The legislation will continue the program until 2030. The extension was necessary to provide clarity and predictability to assist companies in complying with the required reductions. The legislation was fiercely opposed by some in the environmental community who say it is not aggressive enough for progressive California. Several Democrats who voted against the measure felt it did not go far enough in pushing for command and control climate change policies...
In rankings released by Palo Alto economist Stephen Levy, head of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, California’s economy ranked sixth in the world in 2016. The state has seen that ranking climb since 2010 when it was 10th and 8th in 2014...
Governor Brown signed the 2017-18 on Tuesday, opting not to utilize his line-item veto power. As such, the $125 million budget passed by the Legislature earlier this month remains intact. According to Brown, this budget provides money to improve infrastructure, pay down debt, invest in schools, fund the earned income tax credit and provide health care for millions of California...
A study released this week by the University of Washington analyzing the minimum wage increase in Seattle has found that jobs and work hours fell for the city’s lowest paid employees after the minimum wage was raised to $13 there last year. The study shows that jobs and hours for those workers declined faster in Seattle than in surrounding control areas where the minimum wage did not increase...
Late last week, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced that SB 562 (Lara), which would have created a Single-Payer healthcare system in California, would not advance to a policy hearing in the Assembly, essentially ensuring that the measure would not be acted upon this year. Rendon called the bill “woefully incomplete,” noting that even Senators who voted for SB 562 noted fatal flaws in the bill. The bill failed to address several critical issues including financing, delivery of care, cost controls, and necessary action by the federal government to make SB 562 a reality...
A key component of the Safer Consumer Product Program and associated regulation is the Alternatives Analysis (AA), which entails a robust review of the chemical of concern(s) compared against any potential alternatives for a host of potential life cycle impacts. In order to help facilitate the conducting of such AAs, the Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) has prepared and finalized its first iteration of its Alternatives Analysis (AA) Guide. The Guide is intended to be an evergreen document that will evolve as DTSC’s and stakeholders’ thinking, processes and science evolve...
The mid-point in the legislative process, last Friday was the House of Origin deadline in the Legislature whereby all measures had to move into the opposite house in order to remain active in 2017. The week saw a flurry of activity and some major upsets, largely focused on a few contentious environmental measures that were defeated and are now considered two-year bills. While considered dead for the year, all two-year bills are eligible for reconsideration in January when the Legislature reconvenes for the 2018 session...
In an effort to bolster the party’s left flank in the California Legislature, nearly two dozen Assembly Democrats have signed on to form a Progressive Caucus. The ideology, according to the group, is that the members “value people more than money.” The caucus hopes to be a divergence from the informal group of centrist, business-aligned Democrats known as the Mod Caucus, that have been a pivotal bloc of votes on bills on taxes and environmental regulation...
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) recently released a new poll focusing on critical issues relating to how the public and likely voters view their government...
The State Board of Pharmacy recently announced the formal adoption of regulations establishing requirements for pharmacies that wish to establish prescription drug take-back services. While pharmacies are not required to provide drug take-back services under the board’s regulations, for those that do the regulations establish requirements that are based upon U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) requirements. With the rampant problem of prescription drug abuse, the board hopes to increase options for the public to safely dispose of unwanted, unused, or out of date medications. In addition to reducing the supply of prescription drugs available for misuse or abuse, providing collection receptacles and/or mail-back envelopes for customers also helps protect the environment...
Despite California voters adopting multi-billion tax increases in November through the passage of Proposition 55 (12-year extension of the Prop. 30 personal income tax increases), Proposition 56 ($2 tax imposed on each pack of cigarettes), and Proposition 64 (which includes several tax increases on marijuana and marijuana products), the Legislature continues to propose new tax measures....
In a series of bills introduced this week, Senators Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) are supporting a plan that would significantly reform the criminal justice systems. In a press conference this week, the lawmakers introduced four bills modifying how children are treated in California’s justice system. If passed, these bills could do away with incarceration for children under 12 years old and ...
In an expected move, Senate Republicans have appointed a new leader, Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel). With her available term limit not coming up until 2022, Bates could serve as minority leader for an extended period of time – longer than many recent leaders. Current leader, Senator Jean Fuller, will be termed out in 2018, and the vote to switch leadership will give ample time to transition and prepare for the next election cycle....
Current Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom is reportedly drafting a plan to create universal health care in the state as part of his platform for his campaign in 2018. Newsom’s ambitious plan to rein in rising health care costs, expand universal access to people across the state regardless of income or immigration status, and preserve coverage for the estimated 5 million Californians who risk losing their insurance...
Tam Doduc, of Sacramento, has been reappointed to the State Water Resources Control Board, where she has served since 2005. Doduc served in several positions at the California Environmental Protection Agency from 2000 to 2005, including deputy secretary for environmental quality, assistant secretary for air and chemical programs, assistant secretary for agriculture and chemical programs and assistant secretary for technology certification...
Upcoming Important Dates:
December 5th 2015-2016 Legislative Session Convenes
January 10, 2017 Governorâ€™s Budget Release
2016 General Election Wrap-Up
After a very heated, tense election cycle with national politics believed to be looming large over down-ticket races in California, the dust is beginning to settle this morning with significant policy changes ahead via the state initiative process and legislative Democrats poised to gain a two-thirds majority in the Assembly. Between the two major parties, over $29 million was spent in competitive California legislative races â€“ resulting in one of the most divisive and malevolent election cycles with accusations of racism, theft and destruction of opponentsâ€™ signage, harsh campaign messaging and more coming from all angles, even in inter-party fights.
Assembly Democratsâ€™ efforts, in particular, to gain a super majority was seemingly fruitful with three seats in range, pending final vote counts. Assemblyman David Hadley (R) currently trails former Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D), Assemblyman Eric Linder (R) trails Sabrina Cervantez (D) and Assemblywoman Young Kim (R) trails former Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D).
One of the most expensive legislative races in the East Bay between Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R) and Cheryl Cook-Kallio (D) failed to produce a change of hands for Democrats, despite each side spending upwards of $2.5 million and independent expenditures coming in at about $2 million on both sides.
Relative to inter-party fights, former Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D) regained his seat from Assemblywoman Patty Lopez (D); and Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown (D) has been unseated by Eloise Reyes (D).
In the Senate, Democrats have come up short of a two-thirds gain so far, but managed to hold on to three of their potential target seats. Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang (R) is holding a narrow lead against Democrat Josh Newman in the race to fill the seat vacated by termed-out Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff.
Overall, Democrats led in fundraising to the tune of roughly $21 million for their top ten races as compared to Republicansâ€™ $8.3 million in those races.
On the policy front, Californians have approved the use of recreational marijuana; affirmed a ban on single-use plastic bags; reformed, not repealed the death penalty; provided broad authority to the Governor and his secretary of the Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation to expand parole and credits for prisoners; and more. While a good number of the measures saw significant expenditures, Proposition 61 that would have capped drug pricing for veterans was the shining star in this regard with record spending on both sides. While the measure has been defeated at the ballot box, proponents are poised to again pursue legislation in 2017 that will likely be broader in scope and one of the biggest fights on the horizon.
As the dust continues to settle and the close races await confirmation of final vote counts, we now look to December 5th when the 2017-2018 Legislature will be sworn in to office. While some reports suggest a host of new moderate members will infuse the Assembly, the proof is in the pudding as we move into what is already shaping up to be a big year ahead on a number of policy fronts. A big unknown is how the two-thirds in the Assembly will play out â€“ will moderates feel empowered to stand together or will members fall in line with leadership and more progressive ideals? Time will tell... and weâ€™re waiting with baited breath...
Statewide Ballot Measures
Proposition 51: School Bond Funding.PASS (53.9% to 46.1%%).
This measure would permit the state to sell $9 billion in general obligation bonds for education facilities ($7 billion for K-12 public school facilities and $2 billion for community college facilities).
Proposition 52: State Fees on Hospitals.PASS (69.7% to 30.3%%)
This measure would extend permanently an existing charge imposed on most private hospitals that is scheduled to end on January 1, 2018. Â Revenue raised would be used to create state savings, increase payments for hospital services to low-income Californians, and provide grants to public hospitals.
Proposition 53: Revenue Bonds.FAIL (48.5% to 51.5%)
This measure would require statewide voter approval on all state revenue bonds totaling more than $2 billion for a project that is funded, owned, or managed by the state.
Proposition 54: Legislature. Legislation and Proceedings.PASS (64.3% to 35.7%)
This measure would require any bill (including changes to the bill) to be made available to legislators and posted on the Internet for at least 72 hours before the Legislature could pass it. The Legislature would have to ensure that its public meetings are recorded and make videos of those meetings available on the Internet.
Proposition 55 - Tax Extension.PASS (62.1% to 37.9%)
This measure would extend the income tax increases on high-income taxpayers, which are scheduled to end after 2018.Â Under the measure, these taxes would be extended through 2030.
Proposition 56: Cigarette Tax.PASS (62.9% to 37.1%)
This measure would increase state excise taxes on cigarettes by $2 per packâ€”from 87 cents to $2.87. Â It would also increase state excise taxes on other tobacco products by a similar amount and apply the taxes to electronic cigarettes. Revenue from these higher taxes would be used for many purposes, but primarily to augment spending on health care for low-income Californians.
Proposition 57: Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing.PASS (63.7% to 36.3%)
This measure would (1) require the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) to develop regulations to and allow certain state prison inmates convicted of nonviolent felony offenses to be considered for release earlier than otherwise; (2) permit the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) to develop regulations for and award additional sentencing credits to inmates for good behavior and approved rehabilitative or educational achievements; and (3) provide sole discretion to the courts to decide whether youth should be tried in juvenile or adult court.
Proposition 58 - English language education.PASS (72.5% to 27.5%)
This measure would allow public schools to more easily choose how to teach English learners, whether in English-only, bilingual, or other types of programs.
Proposition 59 - Campaign Finance: Voter Instruction.PASS (52.4% to 47.6%)
This measure would ask voters to require their elected officials to use their constitutional authority to seek increased regulation of campaign spending and contributions. As an advisory measure, Proposition 59 does not require any particular action by the Congress or California Legislature.
Proposition 60 - Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements.FAIL 46.1% to 53.9%)
This measure would institute additional workplace health and safety requirements placed on adult film productions in California and additional ways to enforce those requirements.
Proposition 61 - State Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards.FAIL (46.3% to 53.7%)
This measure would prohibit state agencies from paying more for any prescription drug than the lowest price paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the same drug.
Proposition 62 - Death Penalty.FAIL (46.1% to 53.9%)
This measure would abolish the death penalty and convert death penalty offendersâ€™ sentences to life without the possibility of parole, which would be the biggest penalty provided for the most heinous offenses.
Proposition 63 - Firearms. Ammunition Sales.PASS (62.7% to 37.3%)
This measure would create a new court process for the removal of firearms from individuals upon conviction of certain crimes. It also contains new requirements related to the selling or purchasing of ammunition.
Proposition 64 - Marijuana Legalization.PASS (56.1% to 43.9%)
This measure would permit adults 21 years of age or older to legally grow, possess, and use marijuana for nonmedical purposes, with certain restrictions. The state would regulate nonmedical marijuana businesses and tax the growing and selling of medical and nonmedical marijuana. Most of the revenue from such taxes would support youth programs, environmental protection, and law enforcement.
Proposition 65 â€“ Carryout Bags. Charges.FAIL (44.6% to 55.4%)
This measure would (1) prohibit giving customers certain carryout bags for free and (2) require a charge for other types of carryout bags with the resulting revenue being deposited in a new state fund to support certain environmental programs instead of allowing retailers to retain the funds.
Proposition 66 â€“ Death Penalty. Procedures.PASS (50.9% to 49.1%)
This measure would reform the death penalty process.Â More specifically, it would revise the court procedures for legal challenges to death sentences including addressing time limits on challenges and revise rules to increase the number of available attorneys for those challenges. Additionally, it would provide that condemned inmates could be housed at any state prison.
Proposition 67 â€“ Referendum â€“ Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags.PASS (52.0% to 48.0%)
This measure would prohibit most grocery stores, convenience stores, large pharmacies, and liquor stores from providing single-use plastic carryout bags. Stores generally would be required to charge at least 10 cents for any other carryout bag provided to customers at checkout. Stores would keep the resulting revenue.
United States Senate
Kamala D. Harris Democrat vs. Loretta L. Sanchez Democrat
** Harris defeated Sanchez by a margin of 62.7% to 37.3%
CD 7 â€“ Ami Bera (incumbent)* Democrat vs. Scott Jones Republican
** Bera defeated Jones by a margin of 50.6% to 49.4%
CD 10 â€“ Jeff Denham (incumbent)* Republican vs. Michael Eggman Democrat
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â ** Denham defeated Eggman by a margin of 52.4% to 47.6%
CD 25 â€“ Steve Knight (incumbent)* Republican vs. Bryan Caforio Democrat
** Knight defeated Caforio by a margin of 54.3% to 45.7%
CD 44 â€“ Nanette Diaz BarragĂˇn Democrat vs. Isadore Hall, III Democrat
** Barragan defeated Hall by a margin of 51.2% to 48.8%
CD 49 â€“ Darrell Issa (incumbent)* Republican vs. Doug Applegate Democrat
** Issa defeated Applegate by a margin of 51.4% to 48.6%
SD 3 â€“ Bill Dodd Democrat vs. Mariko Yamada Democrat
** Dodd defeated Yamada by a margin of 59.4% to 40.6%
SD 5 â€“ Cathleen Galgiani (incumbent)* Democrat vs. Alan Nakanishi Republican
** Galgiani defeated Nakanishi by a margin of 55.6% to 44.4%
SD 9 â€“ Nancy Skinner Democrat vs. Sandre Swanson Democrat
** Skinner defeated Swanson by a margin of 62.7% to 37.3%
SD 11 â€“ Jane Kim Democrat vs Scott Weiner Democrat
** Weiner defeated Kim by a margin of 52.5% to 47.5%
SD 15 â€“ Jim Beall(incumbent)* Democrat vs. Nora Campos Democrat
** Beall defeated Campos by a margin of 64.4% to 35.6%
SD 21 â€“ Scott Wilk Republican vs. Johnathon Ervin Democrat
** Wilk defeated Ervin by a margin of 54.7% to 45.3%
SD 25 â€“ Anthony Portantino Democrat vs Michael Antonovich Republican
** Portantino defeated Antonovich by a margin of 57.5% to 42.5%
SD 27 â€“ Steve Fazio Republican vs. Henry Stern Democrat
** Stern defeated Fazio by a margin of 55.0% to 45.0%
SD 29 â€“ Ling Ling Chang Republican vs Josh Newman Democrat
** Chang defeated Newman by a margin of 50.9% to 49.1%
SD 35 â€“ Steve Bradford Democrat vs Warren Furutani Democrat
** Bradford defeated Furutani by a margin of 54.3% to 45.7%
AD 14 â€“ Tim Grayson Democrat vs Mae Torlakson Democrat
** Grayson defeated Torlakson by a margin of 62.1% to 37.9%
AD 16 â€“ Catharine Baker (incumbent)* Republican vs Cheryl Cook-Kallio Democrat
** Baker defeated Cook-Kallio by a margin of 55.8% to 44.2%
AD 24 â€“ Marc Berman Democrat vs Vicki Veenker Democrat
** Berman defeated Veenker by a margin of 53.9% to 46.1%
AD 27 â€“ Ash Kalra Democrat vs Madison Nguyen Democrat
** Kalra defeated Nguyen by a margin of 51.3% to 48.7%
AD 30 â€“ Karina Alejo Democrat vs Anna Caballero Democrat
** Caballero defeated Alejo by a margin of 63.7% to 36.3%
AD 35 â€“ Jordan Cunningham Republican vs Dawn Ortiz- Legg Democrat
** Cunningham defeated Ortiz-Legg by a margin of 54.6% to 45.4%
AD 36 â€“ Tom Lackey (incumbent)* Republican vs Steve Fox Democrat
** Lackey defeated Fox by a margin of 56.1% to 43.9%
AD 38 â€“ Dante Acosta Republican vs Christy Smith Democrat
** Acosta defeated Smith by a margin of 53.1% to 46.9%
AD 39 â€“ Patty Lopez (incumbent)* Democrat vs Raul Bocanegra Democrat
** Bocanegra defeated Lopez by a margin of 61.1% to 38.9%
AD 40 â€“ Marc Steinorth (incumbent)* Republican vs Abigail Medina Democrat
** Steinorth defeated Medina by a margin of 52.3% to 47.7%
AD 43 â€“ Laura Friedman Democrat vs Ardy Kassakhian Democrat
** Friedman defeated Kassakhian by a margin of 65.2% to 34.8%
AD 47 â€“ Cheryl Brown (incumbent)* Democrat vs Eloise Gomez-Reyes Democrat
** Reyes defeated Brown by a margin of 53.3% to 46.7%
AD 60 â€“ Eric Linder (incumbent)* Democrat vs Sabrina Cervantez Democrat
** Cervantes leads Linder by a margin of 52.2% to 47.8%
Close Race as of 5:15 a.m. with only 56.8% of precincts reporting and a margin of 3,753 votes; Party change to Democrat from Republican
AD 65 â€“ Young Kim (incumbent)* Republican vs. Sharon Quirk-Silva Democrat
** Quirk-Silva leads Kim by a margin of 50.8% to 49.2%
Close Race as of 5:50 a.m. with 100% of precincts reporting and a margin of 1,542 votes; Party change to Democrat from Republican
AD 66 â€“ David Hadley (incumbent)* Republican vs Al Muratsuchi Democrat
** Muratsuchi defeats Hadley by a margin of 53.0% to 47.0%