California, USA, regional Obligatory referendum [LOR] - Statewide bond proposition

General Typology

Obligatory referendum [LOR]
California, USA
Political level
Local Name:
Statewide bond proposition
Normative Level:
Legally Binding:
Legally Defined:

Constitution of California 1897
Article XVI, Section 1
The Legislature shall not, in any manner create any debt or debts, liability or liabilities, which shall, singly or in the aggregate with any previous debts or liabilities, exceed the sum of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000), except in case of war to repel invasion or suppress insurrection, unless the same shall be authorized by law for some single object or work [...]; but no such law shall take effect unless it has been passed by a two-thirds vote of all the members elected to each house of the Legislature and until, at a general election or at a direct primary, it shall have been submitted to the people and shall have received a majority of all the votes cast for and against it at such election [...]

Source: Constitution of California 1897 (accessed 7 Dec. 2016)

Subject Matter:

creating debts over $300,000 total


Authority : Legislature with 2/3 majority
Law : Constitution
Decision maker:


Available Time:
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:

Constitution of California 1897
Article IV, Section 8.5
An act amending an initiative statute , an act providing for the issuance of bonds, or a constitutional amendment proposed by the Legislature and submitted to the voters for approval shall not do either of the following:
(a) Include or exclude any political subdivision of the State from the application or effect of its provisions based upon approval or disapproval of the measure, or based upon the casting of a specified percentage of votes in favor of the measure, by the electors of that political subdivision.
(b) Contain alternative or cumulative provisions wherein one or more of those provisions would become law depending upon the casting of a specified percentage of votes for or against the measure.
Creating debts in the "case of war to repel invastion or suppress insurrection" does not require a ballot question. (Article XVI, Section 1)

Source: Constitution of California 1897 (accessed 7 Dec. 2016)

Other Formal Requirements:

Constitution of California 1897
Article XVI, Section 1
[The] law shall provide ways and means, exclusive of loans, for the payment of the interest of such debt or liability as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal of such debt or liability within 50 years of the time of the contracting thereof, and shall be irrepealable until the principal and interest thereon shall be paid and discharged [... and be] mailed to each elector preceding the election at which they are submitted, and the only requirement for publication of such law shall be that it be set out at length in ballot pamphlets [...]
California Election Code
Every constitutional amendment, bond measure, or other legislative measure submitted to the people by the Legislature shall appear on the ballot of the first statewide election occurring at least 131 days after the adoption of the proposal by the Legislature.

Source: Constitution of California 1897 and California Election Code (accessed 7 Dec. 2016)

Procedural Elements

Wording Of Ballot Question:

Arguments written by the author of the measure, appointees, and/or voters will appear along with the ballot question

Source: California Election Code 9041 - 9044 (accessed 7 Dec. 2016)

Interaction With Authorities:

The Legislature may, at any time after the approval of such law by the people, reduce the amount of the indebtedness authorized by the law to an amount not less than the amount contracted at the time of the reduction, or it may repeal the law if no debt shall have been contracted in pursuance thereof.

Source: Constitution of California 1897, Article XVI, Section 1 (accessed 7 Dec. 2016)

Supervision And Support:
Transparency And Finance: