Earlier this month, Californians voted to support $6 billion in new bonds to help build low-income and homeless housing across the state and provide home loans to veterans. Voters also rejected efforts to expand rent control and add property tax breaks for homeowners 55 or older.
Gil Cisneros defeated Republican Young Kim on Saturday in the last of Orange County’s undecided House races, giving Democrats a clean sweep of the state’s six most fiercely fought congressional contests and marking an epochal shift in a region long synonymous with political conservatism.
Tony Thurmond, a Bay Area Democrat who served in the state Assembly and as a local school board member, declared victory on Saturday in the bitterly contested and expensive race for California superintendent of public instruction.
Thurmond’s opponent, charter school executive Marshall Tuck, conceded the race after several days of late vote counting continued to widen the gap between the two candidates. Tuck had been ahead in early returns on election night but lost the lead last weekend.
“I want to thank the voters of California for electing me to serve the 6 million students of California,” Thurmond said in a written statement. “I intend to be a champion of public schools and a Superintendent for all California students.”
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Travis Allen, a Huntington Beach assemblyman who unsuccessfully ran for California governor, announced Thursday he is running for chairman of the state Republican Party.
Allen is a strong supporter of President Trump and a favorite of tea party Republicans. He blamed the wave of GOP losses in last week’s midterm election on a party establishment that failed to embrace core conservative ideals.
Four incumbent Republicans in California’s congressional delegation lost in the Nov. 6 election, with two more in Orange County possibly facing a similar fate as late ballots are counted. Democrats also captured a supermajority in the California Legislature, and no Republican has won a statewide political office since 2006.
The amount of money collected by the state from taxes on cannabis grown and sold legally in California continues to increase but is still falling short of budget estimates, according to figures released Wednesday.
Tax revenue reported from the cannabis industry totaled $93.1 million for the three months ending Sept. 30, according to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. That is an increase from the $80.2 million collected during the second quarter of the year.
If revenue continues to grow by the same 16% per quarter, pot taxes will bring in $471 million during the fiscal year that began July 1, while the budget approved by the governor and Legislature estimates the taxes would bring in $630 million during the fiscal year.
California’s six-year run of growing tax revenue to pay for government services is expected to continue through at least the summer of 2020, according to an analysis released Wednesday, with enough cash to fund a budget reserve of $29.5 billion.
The report by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office is perhaps the most emphatic sign so far of how much the state’s near-term financial condition has improved since the end of the last recession. Where there were once repeated predictions of operating deficits, analysts now expect a $14.8-billion surplus over the next 20 months — on top of a $14.5-billion rainy-day fund and a $200-million contingency fund for social services programs.
“It is difficult to overstate how good the budget’s condition is today,” analysts wrote in Wednesday’s annual fiscal outlook. “By historical standards, this surplus is extraordinary.”
With all eyes on California’s next leader, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom took a moment Tuesday to remind everyone that Gov. Jerry Brown is still calling the shots.
“There’s only one governor at a time and I think that’s important to reinforce particularly at this moment with so much anxiety around these fires,” Newsom said, standing next to Brown outside the governor’s office. “I want to reinforce that and I want to be respectful of the governor.”
The two men spoke to reporters about wildfires ravaging the state and the transition to a new administration after meeting privately at the state Capitol.
California Democrats cemented supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature on Monday, giving Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom more partisan allies in the state Senate and Assembly when he takes office in January.