California voters approved Proposition 9, which will amend the state constitution to require that crime victims be notified of all public proceedings and have input on phases of the criminal justice process, reports the Sacramento Bee. It will prioritize restitution payments to victims above other fines an offender may owe. The plan was backed by 53 percent of voters. The proposition was placed on the ballot with funding from billionaire Henry T. Nicholas III, who has since been indicted on drug, prostitution, and fraud charges.
Voters rejected another initiative backed by Nicholas, Proposition 6, which would have required the state to spend a minimum of $965 million a year on local law enforcement and created new crimes. Teachers and firefighters opposed the plan because they said it threatened funding for other public programs. The initiative only received 30 percent support. Voters rejected Proposition 5, which would have allocated $460 million each year to expand drug treatment programs and limit court authority to put some offenders behind bars. The initiative was backed by billionaire George Soros but opposed by five Democratic and Republican governors.