There were few (if any) election day surprises in California's statewide races. The end! Now go read about Lou Seal! Ha ha just kidding, we're still going to tell you about what happened.
It was definitely a year for incumbents, as former SF Mayor Gavin Newsom won another term as Lt. Gov, one-time SF District Attorney Kamala Harris will remain California's Attorney General, and Jerry Brown, who's been state attorney general, secretary of state, and mayor of Oakland, is now set for his fourth term as Governor of California.
David Jones (David Bowie's birth name!) will also remain insurance commissioner, and Tom Torlakson will keep his job as Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Elsewhere, there were shifts, but no truly new faces. Democrat Betty Yee, a longtime member of the Board of Equalization, is our new Controller. Meanwhile, our current Controller, John Chiang, will now become our new state Treasurer. And termed-out Senator Alex Padilla will be our new Secretary of State. See what I meant with the no new faces thing?
Nationally, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be repping California's 12th District for yet another term.
OK! On to the state propositions! AKA where the REAL fun is (not really).
WINNER: State Proposition 1 - Water Bond. Funding for Water Quality, Supply, Treatment, and Storage Projects
This authorizes $7.545 billion in general obligation bonds for state water supply infrastructure projects, including surface and groundwater storage, ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration, and drinking water protection. It passed with 67% of the statewide vote.
About a third of the Prop 1 money will go for new water storage and dams. What's left over will go to waste water management, storm water capture, recycling and ground water cleanup.
WINNER: State Proposition 2 - State Budget. Budget Stabilization Account. Legislative Constitutional Amendment
This will requires annual transfer of state general fund revenues to a budget stabilization account, and requires half the revenues to be used to repay state debts. It limits use of remaining funds to emergencies or budget deficits. 69% of California decided this sounded great, so it's a go.
LOSER: State Proposition 45 - Healthcare Insurance. Rate Changes. Initiative Statute
60% of California voted against this measure to require the Insurance Commissioner’s approval before health insurer can change its rates or anything else affecting the charges associated with health insurance. As you can imagine, Dave Jones was bummed about this, saying that “It turns out $57.5 million of false and negative advertising by the health insurers actually has an impact on voters."
LOSER: State Proposition 46 - Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors. Medical Negligence Lawsuits. Initiative Statute
67% of voters thought that this measure, intended to require drug testing of doctors, review of statewide prescription database before prescribing controlled substances, and to increases the $250,000 pain/suffering cap in medical negligence lawsuits, was hogwash and voted against it. It didn't hurt that doctors, hospitals and insurance companies dumped $101 million into fighting it (and 45).
WINNER: State Proposition 47 - Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties. Initiative Statute
"Californians just took a historic step to transform our justice system into one that prioritizes prevention, effective rehabilitation, and sentences that stop the cycle of crime," San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said after this prop passed with 58% of the statewide vote. This plan to requires a misdemeanor sentence instead of a felony one for certain drug and property offenses will, Gascon says, allow the state to "reinvest the hundreds of millions of dollars we will save in K-12 programs, victim services, mental health and drug abuse treatment."
LOSER: State Proposition 48 - Indian Gaming Compacts. Referendum
Bay Area folks likely hadn't heard too much about this prop, in which voters were voting for or against tribal gaming compacts between the state and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and the Wiyot Tribe. If approved, a casino would have gone up in the Central Valley city of Madera. 61% of California voted against it, though, so it won't.