While CA voters are still basking in the glory of a firmly blue state and the solid defeat of Prop 23, the victories are mired by the passage of Prop 26, the "sneaky, environmentally unfriendly stepsister" of Prop 23. Prop 26 is prevailing in the ballot, even though there are still 2 million ballots yet to be processed.
Prop 26 amends CA’s Constitution so that regulatory fees would be redefined as taxes, and therefore require approval by a 2/3 vote of the Legislature, or local election. A supermajority is virtually impossible in today’s political climate.
The opponents of Prop 26 were badly outspent by oil, tobacco and alcohol companies $18.3 million to $4 million. The supporters used the money for a statewide media blitz, sending false messages that somehow the fee money goes into the pockets of politicians.
While it is still not clear the full impact of Prop 26's passage, what is clear is that California just got harder to govern. Local governments will have an even tougher time balancing their budgets, which could mean reductions in public safety and other services. In addition, because the measure was so poorly written and vague, this will generate a lot of lawsuits.
Follow the money trail - who is bankrolling the Polluter Protection Act.