Calif. closely divided on hot-button initiatives
LOS ANGELES (AP) – California voters delivered a victory for Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $6 billion-a-year tax increase, while they weighed whether to set aside the state’s death penalty and refused to require manufacturers to label genetically modified food.
Brown’s initiative was the first statewide tax increase since 2004. It will boost the sales tax by a quarter cent for four years, and income taxes for people who make more than $250,000 a year will be raised for seven years.
Voters turned away a competing plan which would have increased income taxes to inject schools with billions of dollars in new spending.
Voters rejected an attempt to curb union clout at the statehouse, and one which would require the labeling of genetically modified foods. Proposition 34, a repeal of the infrequently enforced death penalty, was in play.