All eyes were on the national news this week, but let’s turn to California for a roundup of the biggest news stories in the state…
Which Ballot Propositions Passed/Failed?
Twelve statewide propositions were on the ballot in California this week. Here are the results (pending certification on December 11, 2020) per the Secretary of State:
- PROPOSITION 14 –authorizes $5.5 billion in government bonds to fund stem cell research – APPROVED
- PROPOSITION 15 – reassesses commercial property taxes based on market-rate values, with revenue to go to schools and local government services – DEFEATED
- PROPOSITION 16 – repeals Proposition 209 and thereby allows affirmative action to be used in the state – DEFEATED
- PROPOSITION 17 – restores the right to vote to parolees who were convicted of felonies – APPROVED
- PROPOSITION 18 – allows 17-year-olds to register and vote in primary and special elections if they will be 18 by the general election – DEFEATED
- PROPOSITION 19 – gives property tax breaks to Californians 55-plus who want to buy a new home – APPROVED
- PROPOSITION 20 – allows certain theft-related crimes to be charged as felonies and restricts the early parole option for more crimes; also makes changes to DNA collection policies – DEFEATED
- PROPOSITION 21 – allows cities and counties to limit rent increases – DEFEATED
- PROPOSITION 22 – allows app-based contractors such as Uber and Lyft to continue to classify workers as independent contractors – APPROVED
- PROPOSITION 23 – changes rules for kidney dialysis clinics – DEFEATED
- PROPOSITION 24 – expands consumer privacy rules and increases penalties for companies that break data sharing laws – APPROVED
- PROPOSITION 26 – eliminates cash bail so that suspects no longer have to pay a cash bond to be released from jail while awaiting trial – DEFEATED
All Eyes on Close House Races
Five House seats in California currently held by Democrats could potentially be won by Republicans in neck-and-neck races. Votes are still being counted, but at the time of publication Republican candidates have a slight lead in the following key races:
- District 25 – Los Angeles and Ventura Counties – Democrat Christy Smith vs Republican Mike Garcia
- District 50 – San Diego County – Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar vs Republican Darrell Issa
- District 48 – Orange County – Incumbent Democrat Rep. Harley Rouda vs Republican Michelle Steel
- District 39 – Orange County – Incumbent Democrat Rep. Gil Cisneros vs Republican Young Kim
- District 21 – Central Valley – Incumbent Democrat Rep. TJ Cox vs Republican David Valadao
Other Election News
Los Angeles County now has an all-female Board of Supervisors. State Senator Holly Mitchell won her bid for the 2nd District seat in a landslide, receiving 60.89% of votes against City Councilman Herb Wesson. The seat was formerly held by Mark Ridley-Thomas. Mitchell’s win marks the first time in the 150-year history of the five-member board that it will be run exclusively by women. Overseeing the nation’s largest county, largest jail system and largest health care system, with a $35-million budget, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is widely considered the most powerful local government body in the United States.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey has conceded to challenger George Gascón. The latest figures in the contentious race show Gascón receiving 53.72% of the vote.
Sarah Jacobs, 31, became the youngest Congressmember elected in California. Jacobs beat fellow Democrat Georgette Gomez to represent San Diego in District 53.
California has 951,094 confirmed cases of Covid-19 to date. This includes 6,518 new cases, 2,765 hospitalized patients and 822 in the ICU. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 17,866 Californians have died due to Covid-19, including 51 in the past week. The seven-day positivity rate is up again at 3.6% and the 14-day positivity rate is also up at 3.4%.
(See last week’s News Roundup to compare the stats.)
Go to covid19.ca.gov to find out the latest Covid-19 statistics in your county.