Pasadena voters approved two ballot measures on Tuesday, one enacting a three-quarter cent sales tax increase and the other allowing allocation of one-third of the revenue generated by the tax to the cash-strapped Pasadena Unified School District.
Measure I, which was approved by 22,291 voters, or 67.68 percent of ballots casts, is expected to raise $21 million a year Measure J, which allows the city to turn over $7 million a year to the PUSD, received 22,903 votes, or 70.43 percent.
Mayor Terry Tornek said at last year’s State of the City speech that the city would end up more than $3 million in the hole if the tax increase was not passed.
The school district, which has a budget deficit of $10 million, must account for those funds by Nov. 15 or face possible takeover by the Los Angele County Office of Education.
The city’s fiscal crisis would have forced officials to lay off dozens of employees, including police officers and firefighters. Measure I was opposed by the Chamber of Commerce, which did not take a position on Measure J.
According to a chamber poll, 63 percent of its members opposed giving money to the school district.
In other election news, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-Pasadena) trounced their opponents, Johnny Nalbandian and Bryan Witt, respectively. Chu won 104,414 to 28,740 (78 percent) and Schiff collected 76 percent of the votes cast in that race. Schiff is expected to be appointed chair of the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Incumbent Pasadena Assemblyman Chris Holden won another two-year term in Sacramento over Republican challenger Alan Reynolds, taking 64 percent of the vote.
In the governor’s race, Democrat Gavin Newsom defeated Republican John Cox with 59 percent of the statewide vote.
Democratic US Sen. Dianne Feinstein defeated state Sen. Kevin De Leon, also a Democrat, with 54.4 percent of the statewide vote.
Alex Villanueva on Wednesday held a slight lead over incumbent Sheriff Jim McDonnell, with mail-in ballots still to be counted.
Proposition 10, which would have lifted limits on rent control, failed with 62 percent of California voting no.
Proposition 6, which would have repealed the state’s gas tax, was shot down by 55 percent of the vote.