While most Turlockers were focused on the Mayoral and City Council races last night, there were several state and countywide races, along with propositions, that Turlock voters had a choice in.
Incumbent Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown (D) won a total of 58.7 percent of the vote against challenger Neel Kashkari (R) who took 41.3 percent of the vote in the State to win a record fourth term. In Stanislaus county, however, the results were much more narrow, with Brown receiving just 50.82 percent of the vote while Kashkari received 49.18 percent.
As California Governor and Lieutenant Governor are not elected on the same ticket, incumbent Gavin Newsom (D) won the Lieutenant Governor seat with a state total of 55.9 percent, against Ron Nehring (R) who took 44.1 percent. Stanislaus County voters took an opposite approach as Nehring received 54.42 percent of the county vote while Newsom 45.58 percent.
In total, Alex Padilla (D) won the race for Secretary of State with 52.5 percent of votes against Pete Peterson (R); Betty T. Yee (D) won against Ashley Swearengin (R) for State Controller with 52.8 percent of voter support; for State Treasurer, John Chiang (D) attained 57.7 percent of total votes against opponent Greg Conlon (R).
Kamala D. Harris (D) was elected Attorney General taking 56.3 percent of total votes against Ronald Gold (R). For Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones (D) won with 56.3 percent of the vote against Ted Gaines (R).
In the race for Board of Equalization Member in District 1, which covers Stanislaus County, George Runner (R) won with 58.8 percent of voter approval over Chris Parker (D).
In the non-partisan race for Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson won with 52.1 percent of total votes over challenger Marshall Tuck.
Additionally, all on the ballot for confirmation to the State Supreme Court received the majority of voter approval throughout the state; similarly, all on the ballot were confirmed to the district Court of Appeals that covers Stanislaus County.
California voters also had the opportunity to decide the fate of six ballot measures — half of which passed.
Proposition 1 for funding water quality, supply, treatment and storage, as put on the ballot by the Legislature, passed with 66.8 percent in favor. In Stanislaus County, votes reflected the trend with 64.04 percent voting in favor of the initiative.
Its passage 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.
Additionally, Proposition 2, the State Budget Stabilization Account, as put on the Ballot by the Legislature passed with 66.8 percent of voters support. In Stanislaus County, 66.17 percent voted in its favor.
The annual transfer of State general fund revenues to the budget stabilization account will be required with the passage of the proposition; half of the revenues are required to be used to repay State debts, limiting the use of remaining funds to emergencies or budget deficits.
The State will save long-term from faster payment of existing debts. There would be different levels of State budget reserves, depending on the economy and decisions made by elected officials. Smaller local reserves for some school districts.
Proposition 45, for healthcare insurance rate changes, put on the ballot by petition signatures failed with 59.9 percent of California voters rejecting, including 68.61 percent of Stanislaus County voters opposing.
It would have required the Insurance Commissioner's approval before a health insurer can change rates or anything else affecting the charges associated with health insurance. Provides for public notice, disclosure, and hearing, and subsequent judicial review. It also exempts employer large group health plans.
Proposition 46, the initiative that ties a requirement of drug testing doctors to medical negligence malpractice lawsuits, as put on the ballot by petition signatures, also failed with 67.2 percent of voters rejecting. Results from Stanislaus County were almost identical with 67.22 percent voting “no.”
The proposition would have required reviewing the statewide prescription database before prescribing controlled substances, but also increases the $250,000 pain and suffering cap in medical negligence lawsuits for inflation.
Proposition 47 regarding criminal sentences and misdemeanor penalties, as put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures, passed with 58.4 percent of voters approving. Conversely, in Stanislaus County, however, 53.75 percent of voters voted no on the measure.
With its passage, it will require a misdemeanor instead of felony sentence for certain drug and property offenses; notably this is inapplicable to persons with prior conviction for serious or violent crime, and registered sex offenders.
The State and county criminal justice have the potential to save in the high hundreds of millions of dollars annually. State savings will be spent on school truancy and dropout prevention, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and victim services.
Proposition 48, an Indian gaming compacts referendum, as put on the ballot by petition signatures failed with 60.8 percent of California voters rejecting the tribal gaming compacts between the State and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and the Wiyot Tribe. In Stanislaus County, opposition was even greater with 64.5 percent rejecting.
With the passage of three of the six ballot initiatives, California residents will notice some changes when it comes to state budgetary issues as well as more remarks regarding the water-bond in coming days.
California is one of 10 states to that allows citizens the opportunity to bypass the Governor and State Legislature to adopt new laws and amendments to the State constitution. This tradition dates back to 1911 and was intended to place more power directly in the hands of the people.