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.
Activists are not taking the idea of a Donald Trump presidency quietly. Hundreds of demonstrators across the U.S. hit the pavement during the day and evening Wednesday to protest the Republican's electoral victory.
California voters have approved Proposition 51, a $9-billion bond for school construction projects across the state.
The measure was leading 53.9% to 46.1%, according to election returns at 5 a.m. Wednesday, and the Associated Press has called the victory.
State funding to help finance repairs and new school facilities across California had run dry, and Proposition 51 will refill the pot. School construction needs billions of dollars every year, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office. With the new cash infusion, the state will once again match local district funding for construction projects.
California voters have approved a significant change of the rules in how proposed laws are approved by the Legislature, overwhelmingly supporting a new mandate for public review of legislation before any final vote.
The change in legislative rules was long discussed in the state Capitol but failed to gain momentum until the initiative written by a former GOP legislator and bankrolled by a wealthy Bay Area activist.