The California Democratic Party seized a supermajority of seats in both houses of California’s state legislature, a surprise outcome that gives those elected the power to override any veto by Republican legislators. The news came after an already good Election Day for Democrats who saw Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax raise measure pass, joining a number of other ballot measures favored by Democrats.
Democrats had long been expected to gain a supermajority in Sacramento. New electoral rules and redrawn districts opened the possibility, which will make state Democrats capable of passing tax legislation without the threat of a Republican veto. They will also have the ability to override a veto by Democratic Governor Brown.
Good news greeted Governor Brown on Wednesday morning. Proposition 30 passed, the governor’s $6-billion-a-year tax initiative billed as a measure to rescue the state’s finances and fund California’s schools.
Proposition 30 will raise the sales tax for four years by a quarter-cent and will raise income taxes for California’s highest earners for seven years. Proposition 30 was passed over its tax increase alternative on the ballot, Proposition 38, which was defeated.
Californians had not approved a statewide tax increase since 2004, but voted to increase taxes beyond Proposition 30. Proposition 39 passed as well — a measure that will raise multi-state corporate taxes for clean energy.
Californians voted against Proposition 37, which would have required food labels on genetically modified foods, and also turned down the abolition of the death penalty in Proposition 34.
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein joined the league of celebrating Democrats throughout the state as she was handily re-elected over Republican challenger and newcomer to California politics, Elizabeth Emken.
In California, the results of Election Day were decisive — and Democrats won big.