2016 State Election Roundup


Nov. 10, 2016

CLSA is pleased to provide you with this exclusive 2016 state election update, and what these results mean for California’s life sciences sector. With this week’s elections, and looking forward to challenging legislative environments at all levels in 2017, CLSA has already begun the work necessary to ensure our continued success — not only with our returning allies and champions, but with the many newly elected public officials as well.

While a plethora of ballots remain to be counted, here is what we know at this time:

  • Supermajority:  Democrats in the Assembly achieved a supermajority, but fell short in the Senate.  This will allow Democrats to pass tax increases and procedural motions without the need for any Republican votes in the Assembly.  In the Senate, however, they will still need one Republican vote for tax increases.
  • Pro-business Democrats: Democrats considered to be “moderate” won in 4 seats over more liberal candidates.  However, one incumbent moderate Democrat lost to a more liberal candidate.
  • Republican Losses:  Incumbent Republicans in three Assembly districts with close registration margins lost to Democratic challengers.

In sum, the Assembly now consists of 55 Democrats and 25 Republicans, while the Senate has 26 Democrats and 14 Republicans.


In total, there were 33 legislative races.  Of those, 31 are newly-elected individuals who will be sworn in as Members of the Legislature on December 5th.  The remaining 2 races resulted in current members of the Assembly successfully winning election to the Senate. Each of these races are charted below.


  • Priority #1

Proposition 61:  State Prescription Drug Pricing.  FAILED

Would have prohibited the state from buying any prescription drug from a drug manufacturer at a price over lowest price paid for the drug the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and exempted managed care program funded through Medi-Cal.

Click here for the No on Prop 61 Campaign Press Release.

  • Other Ballot Measures

Proposition 52:  Medi-Cal Hospital Fee Program.  PASSED

Extends indefinitely an existing statute that imposes fees on hospitals to fund the Medi-Cal health care services, care for uninsured patients, and children’s health coverage.

Proposition 54: Legislature, Legislation and Proceedings. PASSED

Prohibits the Legislature from passing any bill unless it is published on the Internet for 72 hours before a vote, and requires the Legislature to record its proceedings and post them on the Internet.

Proposition 55: Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. PASSED

Extends by twelve years the temporary personal income tax increases enacted in 2012 (Proposition 30) on earnings over $250,000, with revenues allocated to K–12 schools, California Community Colleges, and, in certain years, healthcare.

Proposition 56: Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare and Tobacco Use Prevention. PASSED

Increases cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, with equivalent increase on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine.

Proposition 59: Corporations. Political Spending. PASSED

This is an advisory vote to ask whether California’s elected officials should use their authority to propose an amendment to the federal Constitution overturning the United States Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Citizens United ruled that laws placing certain limits on political spending by corporations and unions are unconstitutional.

If you are interested in quantitative data related to the entire election in California, please click here.

Questions? Please contact Michael Bolden, CLSA’s Senior Director, State Government Relations (