Did the propositions you voted for pass? So now what happens?

VOTED stamp

You voted! See wasn’t that fun? Wait you did vote, right? Well regardless, we now have some new laws and government action, effective today (ballot initiatives take effect the day after the election, unless a different date is specified*).

Here’s what passed and is now law, and what didn’t pass and is relegated to the dustbin of history. (Results courtesy of LA Weekly)

What passed and is now in effect:

We will borrow money for drought relief (Proposition 1). The state government will now borrow about $7.5 billion1The government will borrow this money by selling “bonds” to the public, which basically means people and organizations loan the state money and get the money back a certain number of years later with interest for water quality, supply, treatment, and storage projects. The program will cost the government (and thus taxpayers) about $360 million/year for 40 years.

The state government will expand its “rainy day” fund (Proposition 2). The state government’s rainy day fund will now change in a few ways, including requiring the government to:

  • Put 1.5% of its general revenue into the fund each year
  • Use half of the money each year to pay down debts
  • Only use the money for an emergency or for budget deficits

Penalties for certain nonviolent crimes are now reduced (Proposition 47). Most nonviolent drug and property crimes now have their penalties (including jail time) reduced.2by changing the classifications from a felony to a misdemeanor. see glossary for definition of these terms It is projected to save the government hundreds of millions of dollars each year, and this money will go to schools, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and victims services. It will also likely reduce the state’s severe prison overcrowding.

What DID NOT pass

Proposition 45: Health insurance rate change approval. Whenever a health insurance company wants to change the rates (or fees) it charges you, it would have to first get approval of the state Insurance Commissioner (the guy elected to regulate insurance companies). Basically it makes it a lot harder for insurance companies to raise your rates.

Proposition 46: Increased regulation of doctors and hospitals.

  • Increases malpractice recovery. Currently, if you sue a doctor or hospital for medical malpractice for such things as pain and suffering, you are limited to $250,000. This law would increase that cap to $1.1 million and adjust the cap annually for future inflation.
  • Prescription database checking. Health care providers would be required to check a statewide prescription drug database before prescribing or dispensing certain drugs to a patient for the first time.
  • Doctor drug tests. Hospitals would be required to test certain physicians for alcohol and drugs.

Proposition 48: Gambling agreements with tribes. Would approve gaming compacts with the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and the Wiyot Tribe.

What’s next?

Did you vote Yes on Prop 45 or 46? Well don’t be too discouraged; the people behind these initiatives have vowed to continue working to reform the healthcare system.

Are you relieved these props went down? How was your overall voting experience? Especially if it was your first time voting, let us know how it went!

All this election business got you excited to get in on the action? Maybe you want to put an initiative on the ballot in 2016? Find out how (spoiler alert: it’s very difficult).

*Source: Cal. Const., art. II, section 10(a)

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