Happily, the elections here in California brought victory to Proposition 30, Governor Brown’s tax proposal that saved our schools from closing several weeks early — this year and in future years — among other likely negative results. It was close, but I wouldn’t call that a total surprise.
The real surprise, however, is the likelihood that Democrats have won a two/thirds majority in both houses of the state legislature (three races are still too close to call, but the results look good for Dems). In California, tax increases and some other major moves require a two-thirds vote.
Governor Brown is rightly calling for caution in future tax increases.
School officials are pushing for something else. Local property tax increases for school facility improvement require a 55% majority right now. Local property tax increases connected to programs, though, require a two-thirds supermajority vote. School leaders have begun calling for the Democrats to use their likely 2/3rds seats in the state legislature to reduce the local 2/3rd requirement for program tax increases to the 55% now required for facility taxes.
Making a change like this will be looked upon in horror by some, but it seems to me to be a strategy in the future that might be politically feasible for legislators…..