California voters on November 2 opted to allow state lawmakers to pass a budget with a simple majority while imposing harsh penalties for failing to pass one by the deadline and putting more revenue sources out of reach.
According to results as of November 3, Proposition 25 was approved 54.9 percent to 45.1 percent, eliminating the two-thirds supermajority requirement for passing a budget and accompanying trailer bills. If a budget is not approved by June 15, lawmakers will forfeit their pay and benefits each day until it is passed. The vote may be a reaction to the record-breaking 100 days it took the State Legislature to pass a budget in 2010.
Proposition 24 was rejected 58.4 percent to 41.6 percent. Sponsored by the California Teachers Association, the measure would have increased corporate tax revenue by repealing business tax breaks, including a single-sales-factor apportionment election, net operating loss carrybacks and carryforwards, and the authority for tax credits to be transferred among businesses in a unitary group.
“Proposition 24 would have repealed common sense tax reforms designed to create and retain jobs in California and to help the state’s employers, including small businesses, get through these hard times. We were confident that voters would understand what was at stake on this initiative and their vote tonight makes it clear that they did,” said California for TechNet Executive Director Tim Valderrama, a member of the executive committee of the No on 24 Campaign, in a press release.
Also rejected, 53.8 percent to 46.2 percent, was Proposition 19, which would have legalized adult possession of limited amounts of marijuana and regulated and taxed its commercial production, transportation, and distribution.
Proposition 21, which would have established an annual $18 car registration fee for funding state parks, was defeated 58 percent to 42 percent.
Proposition 22, which reduces state authority to borrow or divert local tax revenue, was approved 60.9 percent to 39.1 percent.
Proposition 26 passed 52.7 percent to 47.3 percent. The measure expands the definition of a tax to include some state and local fees currently imposed and increased by simple majority vote, making them subject to the two-thirds majority requirement. Also, laws that would raise taxes on any taxpayer, even if they don’t produce higher state revenues, will also be subject to the two-thirds majority requirement.