California's proposition 25 changes the requirement for budget approval by the state assembly and state senate. Instead of a two-thirds majority, only 50%+1 of state senators and representatives will be needed in order to pass a budget. (See the current results for this and the other California propositions in the Sacramento Bee report on election results.)
It remains to be seen what the impact will be on the budget as a whole, since tax increases still require a two-thirds vote. However, it seems likely that a Democratic governor and a Democratic state legislature will have a bit easier task in making the budget balance. They should be able to protect the most vulnerable Californians, and hopefully the budget cuts to education will not get deeper over time.
As Tom Fudge wrote for KPBS online, "the days of holding up the budget process with endless gridlock in the Legislature appear to be over."
Fudge also expresses the hope that "the reality of Prop. 25 will force Republicans to become more mainstream and fight for that political middle."
It will be interesting to see how this plays out once the Citizens' Redistricting Commission completes its work next September 15. When the lines for state legislative seats are redrawn, we may see changes in the balance of power as gerrymandering is undone.
As the political director for the California Federation of Teachers notes in the San Francisco Chronicle, the passage of proposition 25 "will change the entire dynamics of the state capital.... No longer will the few have the power to hold up the budget."
Closed-door meetings of the "big 5" (the governor plus the majority and minority leaders of the state house and senate) will hopefully come to an end. Budgets will be passed by June 30, so that state agencies, public colleges and universities, and public schools will have a clear sense of their funding levels for the upcoming fiscal year.
The uncertainty of budgets for schools has been particularly difficult, since school districts are required to approve budgets on time, even if the state has not done so. As a result, districts have had to make decisions based on the most conservative of projections. Once a state budget is approved in late September (last year) or early October (this year), it is difficult to adjust school budgeting, since classes are already underway.
Ideally, the passage of proposition 25 will help put an end to budget cliffhangers in California.