Update, 1 a.m.: The Los Angeles Times calls it a win for Prop. 25, with 54.8 percent of voters saying 'Yes' and 45.2 percent saying 'No.' Only 40 percent of California precincts have yet to submit their data.
Prop. 25 has been steadily leaning 'Yes' since ballot results started flowing in at 8 p.m.
At 21.3 percent reporting, the initiative is showing signs of success at 53.7% 'Yes' and 46.3% 'No.' If results stay where they are, the California State Legislature will be able to pass the state budget with a simple majority, instead of the current 2/3 supermajority.
The likely victory will come as somewhat of a surprise for the little proposition that could — especially considering the contradictory, big-oil-backed Prop. 26 is also succeeding by about the same margin. Prop. 26 would require 2/3 approval for all fees on industry.
Prop. 25 also had a
difficult time getting off the ground competitor early on. Originally called the California Democracy Act, the competing initiative barely made didn't make it onto the ballot this year after then-California Attorney General (and soon-to-be Governor) Jerry Brown reworded the measure summary to read:
“Changes legislative vote requirement to pass a budget or raise taxes from two-thirds to a simple majority.”
We can't imagine Prop. 25 would be doing quite this well if it read like that; the left-field Prop. 26 victory is a perfect example of what happens when campaigners convince Californians that politicians are trying to raise their taxes.
'Yes' on Prop. 25's hugest donor was the California Federation of Teachers, who threw down $3.5 million. Looks like the school system is hoping that state legislators — grateful to be free of the partisan gridlock — will start paying them back, line by line.
Take that, Brown.