Proposition 31, the ballot measure pushed by good-government types to change how money is spent in Sacramento, was losing by a healthy margin when early returns were published tonight.
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We should caution that those are very early returns -- mostly absentee ballots and 1.3 percent of precincts. But the results showed that so far, a healthy 56.9 percent of California voters said "no" to the proposition. Forty-three percent were in favor.
The "California Government Performance and Accountability" proposition is a host of reforms -- KQED calls it a "grab bag." It would require that bills be posted three days before passage. It would mandate two-year budget plans instead of just one. It would block the Legislature from spending money it doesn't have. It would allocate some sales tax revenues to local governments instead of the behemoth state government.
The proposition is the work of the non-partisan group California Forward. Its major backer is the Nicolas Berggruen Institute, the two-year-old foundation started by the eponymous German/American billionaire philanthropist.
Some experts have posited that the measure was simply too confusing to voters. We'll have more as the evening continues, so stay tuned.