Good morning! California election results are still trickling in. Here’s the latest.
WHAT WE STILL DON’T KNOW
The following ballot measures have not been called:
- Proposition 14, the measure to to issue $5.5 billion in bonds for stem cell research. The measure is leading slightly, 51.1% to 48.9%.
- Proposition 15, the split roll property tax measure that would require commercial property worth more than $3 million to be assessed at market value. The measure is failing, 51.7% to 48.3%.
- Proposition 19, the proposal to give Californians over age 55 a property tax break if they buy a new home. The measure is leading, 51.2% to 48.8%.
As of Monday evening, the Associated Press had yet to call the following legislative races:
- In Assembly District 36, incumbent Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, has 54.6% of the vote, while Democrat Steve Fox has 45.4%.
- In Assembly District 42, incumbent independent Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley has 56.6% of the vote, while Republican Andrew Kotyuk has 43.4%.
- In Assembly District 55, incumbent Republican Phillip Chen holds 54.9% of the vote, while Democrat Andrew E. Rodriguez has 45.1%.
- In Assembly District 59, incumbent Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, has 57.9% of the vote, while fellow Democrat Efren Martinez has 42.1%.
- In Assembly District 68, incumbent Assemblyman Steven Choi, R-Irvine, has 53.1% of the vote, while Democrat Melissa Fox has 46.9%.
- In Senate District 21, incumbent Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, is up with 50.5%, while Democratic challenger Kipp Mueller has 49.5% of the vote so far.
- In Senate District 23 in San Bernardino County, Republican Rosilicie Ochoa-Bogh has 51.7%, while Democrat Abigail Medina has 48.3% of the vote. They’re competing for an open seat held by Sen. Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga.
- In Senate District 29, Democratic challenger Josh Newman has 51.4% of the vote, while incumbent Sen. Ling Ling Chang, R-Diamond Bar, has 48.6%.
- In Senate District 37, Democratic challenger Dave Min has 51.2% of the vote, while incumbent Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, has 48.8%.
CALIFORNIA HEADS TO THE SUPREME COURT TO DEFEND OBAMACARE
Via Lara Korte…
Attorneys with the California Department of Justice will lead a coalition of 20 states in defending the Affordable Care Act before the nation’s highest court on Tuesday, in a case that could affect the health care of millions of Americans, including more than 20 million Californians.
The plaintiffs in the case are led by the state of Texas, and argue that the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, is unconstitutional. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday said state attorneys will argue that the plaintiffs have no standing to challenge the act, the individual mandate is constitutional, and – if the court rules it is not constitutional – the mandate is severable from the rest of the act.
If the court rules against the act, it would mean an estimated loss of $160.2 billion in federal program funding in California alone, Becerra’s office said.
“We need the ACA more than ever right now,” Becerra said at a press conference Monday. “COVID-19 has so far infected more than 10 million Americans, and of course, a million more have lost their jobs. It has cost 12 million American workers their health care and is disproportionately affecting communities of color.”
The Affordable Care Act, which was the signature legislation passed by President Barack Obama in 2010, has been a prime target of the Trump administration. Its policies have been woven into the fabric of the American health care system, Becerra said, and destroying it could threaten health care for millions and projections for preexisting conditions.
The act has gone before the U.S. Supreme Court before, but this time faces a strong conservative majority, including the newly-appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Oral arguments will be heard at 10 a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, but it could take months to issue a decision.
Becerra said he’s confident that President-elect Joe Biden will fight to defend and strengthen the Affordable Care Act as president, but he is unlikely to have much sway in the outcome of this court case.
“My sense is that commitment will not change regardless of what the Supreme Court holds, and that President Joe Biden will fight tooth and nail to move forward,” Becerra said. “No digressing, no backsliding when it comes to health care. I think it’s time to recognize health care is a right and privilege.”
PERMANENT UNIVERSAL VOTE-BY-MAIL?
The California lawmaker behind this election’s universal vote-by-mail says he plans to introduce a bill to make it permanent.
Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting, said he plans to introduce legislation that would require the state to send a mail-in ballot to all active registered voters in the state.
“Our democracy is strongest when everyone participates,” Berman said in a statement. “This year we saw historic levels of voter participation following the passage of AB 860, which required every county to send vote-by-mail ballots to all active registered voters. More than 68% of eligible Californians voted in the general election, which was the highest turnout since at least 1960. Now that we know these changes were successful, I will introduce a bill in the new session to make permanent the key provisions of AB 860.”
In his press conference on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signaled that he would work with lawmakers on just such a piece of legislation.
“I’m not passive. As you know, I leaned in on vote-by-mail,” Newsom said, adding that he also supports alternatives for in-person voting. “…We would actively engage the Legislature, and I certainly am open to pursuing that.”
THREE UCSF PROFESSORS ON BIDEN’ CORONAVIRUS TEAM
Via Lara Korte….
Three California doctors will assist President-elect Joe Biden in confronting the coronavirus pandemic as he prepares to make the transition to the White House.
Dr. David Kessler, a professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California San Francisco, was named one of three co-chairs of President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board. Kessler had served as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner from 1990 to 1997.
Dr. Robert Rodriguez, a professor of emergency medicine at UCSF School of Medicine, and Dr. Eric Goosby, a professor of medicine, will also join Biden’s coronavirus advisory board. Rodriguez has worked on the frontlines of the pandemic, according to the Biden campaign, and Goosby worked as a global AIDS coordinator under President Barack Obama.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
ICYMI: World leaders and media organizations may recognize Joe Biden as president-elect, but many Republicans, including State Sen. Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, do not. Grove took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to write:
“I still believe @realDonaldTrump will be President foe(sic) the next 4 years. #EXPOSETHECORRUPTION #USA.”
This prompted Yucca Valley independent Chad Mayes, himself a former Republican, to reply with a quote-tweet:
“This perfectly encapsulates the decades-long strategy of the California Republican Party…Just deny reality.”
Grove doubled down on her tweet, replying:
“How many states have certified the election for POTUS ? ZERO !!”
Best of the Bee:
Californians shouldn’t get their hopes up about getting a coronavirus vaccine this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday, cautioning that even once a vaccine is approved, mass availability will still be months away, via Sophia Bollag.
As coronavirus infection rates rise in California and spike nationwide, several counties might be moved into more restrictive coronavirus risk tiers when California officials announce the newest tier update Tuesday, via Jayson Chesler.
After California voters rejected a measure to repeal the state’s ban on affirmative action last week, higher education leaders reiterated a commitment to diversify their student population by providing outreach and support to Latino and under-represented students, via Kim Bojórquez.