California’s 1.4 million-member public-sector unions are the key force that has pushed the state toward increasingly progressive policies. The Supreme Court could seriously diminish that force.
In the otherwise dark year of 2016, California doubled down on its faith in people and the future with major victories for labor, the environment and public education. Here are five ways the Golden State left the light on for the rest of the country.
One clear winner to emerge from Tuesday’s statewide election was California education. Proposition 55, the wealth-tax initiative, swept to victory with a 62 percent approval margin. Its passage will extend until 2030 Proposition 30’s emergency stabilization funding passed by voters in 2012.
Victorious Proposition 55 has extended a policy initially approved by Californians in 2012 to make up the recession-era budget cuts in the Golden State—cuts that devastated spending on education and health care. The 2012 measure, Proposition 30, established a personal income tax increase on household incomes of $250,000 and above.
Eduardo Vargas enrolled at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park during the fall of 2011 looking to help his financially troubled family, but then found he had to wrestle with a problem he had not foreseen: a crippled community college system.