California, USA, regional Popular or citizens initiative [PCI] - Initiative (Constitution)

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizens initiative [PCI]
Location
California, USA
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Initiative (Constitution)
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

Constitution of California
Article II, Section 8
(a) The initiative is the power of the electors to propose statutes and amendments to the Constitution and to adopt or reject them.
(b) An initiative measure may be proposed by presenting to the Secretary of State a petition that sets forth the text of the proposed statute or amendment to the Constitution and is certified to have been signed by electors equal in number to 5 percent in the case of a statute, and 8 percent in the case of an amendment to the Constitution, of the votes for all candidates for Governor at the last gubernatorial election.

Source: Constitution of California (accessed 7 Dec. 2016)


9014. (a) A petition for a proposed initiative or referendum measure shall not be circulated for signatures prior to the official summary date.

(b) Subject to subdivision (d), a petition with signatures for a proposed initiative measure shall be filed with the county elections official not later than 180 days from the official summary date, and a county elections official shall not accept a petition for the proposed initiative measure after that period.

(c) Subject to subdivision (d), a petition for a proposed referendum measure shall be filed with the county elections official not later than 90 days from the date the legislative bill was chaptered by the Secretary of State, and a county elections official shall not accept a petition for the proposed referendum measure after that period.

(d) If the last day to file a petition pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c) is a holiday, as defined in Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 6700) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, the petition may be filed with the county elections official on the next business day.

(Amended (as amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 106, Sec. 2) by Stats. 2014, Ch. 697, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2015.)

Subject Matter:

Amending the state constitution via initiative

Actors

Author:
Citizen
Initiator:
Electorate : 8% of the total number of voters in the last gubernatorial election
Decision maker:
Electorate

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
8% of the total number of voters in the last gubernatorial election
Available Time:
180 days after receiving summary from Attorney General (see California Election Code 9014)
Turnout Quorum:
Legal source does not mention turnout quorum
Approval Quorum:
Legal source does not mention specific approval quorum
Geographical Quorum:
Legal source does not mention geographical quorum
Excluded Issues:

California Constitution, Article II, Section 12
No amendment to the Constitution, and no statute proposed to the electors by the Legislature or by initiative, that names any individual to hold any office, or names or identifies any private corporation to perform any function or to have any power or duty, may be submitted to the electors or have any effect.

Source: Constitution of California 1879 (accessed 7 Dec. 2016)

Other Formal Requirements:

California Constitution, Article II, Section 8
[...]
(c) The Secretary of State shall then submit the measure at the next general election held at least 131 days after it qualifies or at any special statewide election held prior to that general election. The Governor may call a special statewide election for the measure.
[...]

Source: Constitution of California 1879 (accessed 7 Dec. 2016)

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:

California Election Code

9021. (a) A person who meets the requirements of Section 102 may circulate a statewide initiative or referendum petition anywhere within the state. Each section of the petition shall bear the name of a county or city and county, and only qualified registered voters of that county or city and county may sign that section.

(b) The circulator may sign the section he or she is circulating as provided in Section 106.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 278, Sec. 18. Effective January 1, 2014.)

[...]

Source: California Election Code (accessed 7 Dec. 2016)

Wording Of Ballot Question:

The Attorney General is required to draft a ballot title, summary and ballot label which may differ from those used during circulation. Also on the ballot will be a summary of the fiscal impact statement from the Legislative Analyst. The public has 20 days to review and edit the language. Arguments for and against the measure will also be included on the ballot.

California Election Code

9051. (a) (1) The ballot title and summary may differ from the legislative, circulating, or other title and summary of the measure and shall not exceed 100 words, not including the fiscal impact statement.

(2) The ballot title and summary shall include a summary of the Legislative Analyst’s estimate of the net state and local government fiscal impact prepared pursuant to Section 9087 of this code and Section 88003 of the Government Code.

(b) The ballot label shall not contain more than 75 words and shall be a condensed version of the ballot title and summary including the financial impact summary prepared pursuant to Section 9087 of this code and Section 88003 of the Government Code.

(c) In providing the ballot title and summary, the Attorney General shall give a true and impartial statement of the purpose of the measure in such language that the ballot title and summary shall neither be an argument, nor be likely to create prejudice, for or against the proposed measure.

(d) The Attorney General shall invite and consider public comment in preparing each ballot title and summary.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 697, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 2015.)

9060.
In case either the argument for or the argument against any measure placed on the ballot is not prepared and filed, the Secretary of State shall, by a general press release, request voters to submit arguments.
[...]

9064.
Any voter or group of voters may, at any time within the time limit, prepare and file with the Secretary of State an argument for or against any measure as to which arguments have not been prepared or filed. This argument shall not exceed 500 words in length.
[...]

9069.
When the Secretary of State has received the arguments that will be printed in the ballot pamphlet, the Secretary of State, within five days of receipt thereof, shall send copies of the arguments in favor of the proposition to the authors of the arguments against and copies of the arguments against to the authors of the arguments in favor. The authors may prepare and submit rebuttal arguments not exceeding 250 words, or may authorize in writing any other person or persons to prepare, submit, or sign the rebuttal argument. The rebuttal arguments shall be filed with the Secretary of State no later than a date to be designated by the Secretary of State.
[...]

9092.
Not less than 20 days before he or she submits the copy for the ballot pamphlet to the State Printer, the Secretary of State shall make the copy available for public examination. [...]

Source: California Election Code (accessed 7 Dec. 2016)

Interaction With Authorities:

California Election Code

9001.(a) Before the circulation of an initiative or referendum petition for signatures, the text of the proposed measure shall be submitted to the Attorney General with a written request that a circulating title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure be prepared. The electors presenting the request shall be known as the “proponents.” The Attorney General shall preserve the written request until after the next general election.

(b) Each and every proponent of a proposed initiative measure shall, at the time of submitting the text of the proposed measure, provide both of the following:

(1) An original signed certification stating that “I, (insert name), declare under penalty of perjury that I am a citizen of the United States, 18 years of age or older, and a resident of (insert county), California.”

(2) Public contact information.

(c) The proponents of a proposed initiative measure, at the time of submitting the text of the proposed measure to the Attorney General, shall pay a fee to the Attorney General of two thousand dollars ($2,000) that shall be placed in a trust fund in the office of the Treasurer and refunded to the proponents if the measure qualifies for the ballot within two years from the date the summary is furnished to the proponents. If the measure does not qualify within that period, the fee shall be immediately paid into the General Fund of the state.

(d) All referenda and proposed initiative measures must be submitted to the Attorney General’s Initiative Coordinator located in the Sacramento Attorney General’s Office via U.S. Postal Service, alternative mail service, or personal delivery. Only printed documents will be accepted; facsimile or email delivery will not be accepted.

(e) The Attorney General’s office shall not deem a request for a circulating title and summary submitted until all of the requirements of this section are met.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 229, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2016.)

9004.

(a) Upon receipt of the text of a proposed initiative measure, and after the public review period provided for in Section 9002, the Attorney General shall prepare a circulating title and summary of the chief purposes and points of the proposed measure. The circulating title and summary shall not exceed 100 words. The Attorney General shall also provide a unique numeric identifier for each proposed initiative measure. The circulating title and summary shall be prepared in the manner provided for the preparation of ballot titles and summaries in Article 5 (commencing with Section 9050), the provisions of which, in regard to the preparation, filing, and settlement of ballot titles and summaries, are applicable to the circulating title and summary.

(b) The Attorney General shall provide a copy of the circulating title and summary and its unique numeric identifier to the proponents and to the Secretary of State within 15 days after receipt of the fiscal estimate or opinion prepared by the Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst pursuant to Section 9005. The date the copy is delivered or mailed to the proponents is the “official summary date.”

(c) Upon receipt of the circulating title and summary from the Attorney General, the Secretary of State shall, within one business day, notify the proponents and county elections official of each county of the official summary date and provide a copy of the circulating title and summary to each county elections official. This notification shall also include a complete schedule showing the maximum filing deadline, and the certification deadline by the counties to the Secretary of State.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 697, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2015.)

Constitution of California

Article II, Section 10
[...]
(c) [...The Legislature] may amend or repeal an initiative statute by another statute that becomes effective only when approved by the electors unless the initiative statute permits amendment or repeal without their approval.


Source: California Election Code and Constitution of California (accessed 7 Dec. 2016)

Supervision And Support:

California Government Code
10243.
The Legislative Counsel shall cooperate with the proponents of an initiative measure in its preparation when:
(a) Requested in writing so to do by 25 or more electors proposing the measure; and
(b) In the judgment of the Legislative Counsel there is reasonable probability that the measure will be submitted to the voters of the State under the laws relating to the submission of initiatives.

Source: California Government Code (accessed 6 June 2013)

Transparency And Finance:

Campaign finance requirements are enforced by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).

Practice

Archive:
Remarks: