Public schools in California will have more power to develop their own bilingual and multilingual programs after voters on Tuesday approved a measure repealing English-only instruction across the state.
With nearly 21% of 24,849 precincts reporting, Proposition 58 appeared to coast to victory, with 73% support among voters. Twenty-seven percent of voters sought to defeat it.
Proposition 58, the product of 2014 legislation written by Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), overhauls key parts of a 1998 law that requires students to take classes taught only English, unless parents sign a waiver requesting otherwise.
California voters handed a decisive victory to Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday in his effort to reshape the state's criminal justice system, approving a ballot measure to offer a new chance at prison release for thousands of prisoners.
Proposition 57, the governor's plan to further shrink the state's prison population, was supported by almost two-thirds of voters in Tuesday night returns. Its strongest support came from urban areas with a sizable number of Democratic voters.
The ballot measure changes the state's prison and legal systems in three significant ways. The least controversial element will reverse a law approved by voters in 2000 that sent more juvenile defendants to adult courtrooms. Those young defendants will now only be charged as adults with a judge's approval.
Incumbent Andrew Do has an early lead over challenger Michele Martinez in the race to be the Orange County supervisor for the 1st District, with 56% of the precincts reporting and Do leading with 56.4% of the votes.
The contentious race is likely to come down to the district’s respective turnout in its large Vietnamese-American and Latino communities. The two emerged as the top vote-getters in a heated June primary race, with Do winning 38% of the vote and Martinez 34%, according to the final tally.
If Martinez wins, she would be the only Democrat on an otherwise all-Republican board. A Santa Ana councilwoman, she is trying to become the first person from her city to represent the 1st District on the Board of Supervisors.
Kathryn Barger forged a solid early lead in the race to replace Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who represents northern Los Angeles County.
With 19% of precincts reporting, Barger claimed 62% of the vote, while her opponent, Darrell Park, received 38%.
Barger, a moderate Republican, is Antonovich’s longtime chief of staff, and started working for Antonovich as an intern 28 years ago. She also has the backing of four of the county’s five supervisors and of powerful labor groups, including the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.
Early results are positive for Measure CC, a $3.5-billion construction bond for the Los Angeles Community College District.
With 6% of precincts reporting, the measure was securing nearly 71% of the vote, with a 55% majority needed to pass.
Supporters argued that the money is necessary to complete renovation efforts that began with earlier bond measures. Projects to be completed include earthquake-safety upgrades and better access for disabled students.
California Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer said he hopes the election results in the state stand as a stark contrast to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s strong performance across the country.
“I really feel as if the question here is going to be: Do we fully embrace each other's humanity? That's actually going to be the question on the ballot for me in 2016 in California,” said Steyer, speaking outside state Democratic Party headquarters before the polls closed in California. “I think the answer is going to be yes. I think this is a year where honestly the opposite has been stated very loudly by Mr. Trump and I'm hoping that the California citizens in a very extended fashion are going to step up and say no to that kind of Trump hate-filled rhetoric.”
Steyer was a major donor behind seven state ballot measures, including those to end the death penalty and allow for bilingual education in schools. Steyer was the largest contributor in support of Proposition 56, which would raise the cigarette tax by $2 a pack, spending $11.6 million. He also supported local tax hikes for transportation and low-income housing measures.