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SB-651 Initiative, referendum, and recall petitions: circulators.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 03/28/2017 04:00 AM
SB651:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 27, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 651


Introduced by Senator Allen

February 17, 2017


An act to add Sections 336.8 336.8, 9009.6, 9009.7, and 9011.5 to the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 651, as amended, Allen. Initiative, referendum, and recall petitions: paid circulators.
The California Constitution and existing statutory law provide for the electors to propose statutes or amendments to the Constitution by initiative. Existing law authorizes a person who is a voter or who is qualified to register to vote in California to circulate an initiative or referendum petition within the state.
Existing law requires that an initiative petition contain specified language advising the public of its right to determine whether the person circulating the petition is a paid signature gatherer or a volunteer.
This bill would additionally require a statewide initiative, referendum, or recall petition to include a disclosure, as specified, notifying the public that the petition circulator is receiving money or other valuable consideration for the specific purpose of soliciting signatures of electors, or is a volunteer or employee of a nonprofit organization.

This

The bill would require that a state or local initiative, referendum, or recall petition circulated by a paid circulator, as defined, who is paid by a committee, as specified, to include a disclosure statement identifying the persons from whom the committee received the 5 3 largest cumulative contributions of $10,000 $50,000 or more in support of the measure and the name of their employer if 2 or more of these contributors have the same employer. The bill would require this disclosure statement to be updated within 7 14 days of any change in the 5 3 largest cumulative contributors. The bill would require a committee that employs one or more paid circulators for the purpose of circulating an initiative, referendum, or recall the petition to submit the disclosure statement and any updates to the Secretary of State for posting on his or her Internet Web site.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 336.8 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

336.8.
 “Paid circulator,” for the purpose of circulating an initiative, referendum, or recall petition, means a person who is compensated in any manner for collecting petition signatures to qualify a state or local initiative, referendum, or recall measure.

SEC. 2.

 Section 9009.6 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

9009.6.
 Notwithstanding any other law, a petition for a proposed initiative measure that is circulated by a person who receives money or other valuable consideration for the specific purpose of soliciting signatures of electors, shall include the following statement immediately prior to the portion of the petition for voters’ signatures, printed names, and residence addresses, printed in 12-point boldface type:

“NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC: THIS PETITION IS BEING CIRCULATED BY A PERSON PAID TO OBTAIN YOUR SIGNATURE. YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO READ THE CONTENTS OF THIS PETITION BEFORE SIGNING.”

SEC. 3.

 Section 9009.7 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

9009.7.
 Notwithstanding any other law, a petition for a proposed initiative measure that is circulated by a person who does not receive money or other valuable consideration for the specific purpose of soliciting signatures of electors shall include the following statement immediately prior to the portion of the petition for voters’ signatures, printed names, and residence addresses, printed in 12-point boldface type:

“NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC: THIS PETITION IS BEING CIRCULATED BY A VOLUNTEER OR AN EMPLOYEE OF A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION. YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO READ THE CONTENTS OF THIS PETITION BEFORE SIGNING.”

SEC. 2.SEC. 4.

 Section 9011.5 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

9011.5.
 (a) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a state or local initiative, referendum, or recall petition that requires voter signatures and is circulated by a paid circulator who is paid by a committee formed pursuant to Section 82013 of the Government Code shall include, in 12-point type at the top of the petition, a disclosure statement that identifies the names of the persons from whom the committee received the five three largest cumulative contributions of ten fifty thousand dollars ($10,000) ($50,000) or more. Each contributor shall be identified on separate lines on the disclosure statement.
(2) If more than five three persons meet the disclosure threshold described in paragraph (1) and have made identical cumulative contributions, the five three persons making the largest cumulative contributions shall be disclosed according to chronological sequence of receipt of the cumulative contributions.
(3) The disclosure statement required by paragraph (1) shall be updated within seven fourteen days of any change in the five identities of three largest cumulative contributors. The updated statement shall include at the bottom of the page the following: “Current as of [Date]. For the latest contribution totals, go to www.fppc.ca.gov/initiatives.
(4) A committee that employs one or more paid circulators to circulate a state initiative, referendum, or recall petition shall submit the disclosure statement required by paragraph (1), and any updates to that statement as required by paragraph (3), to the Secretary of State, who shall post that statement on his or her Internet Web site.
(b) A committee that employs one or more paid circulators to circulate an initiative, referendum, or recall petition shall print on the petition, immediately following the disclosure statement required pursuant to subdivision (a), its name and shall identify itself using a name or phrase that clearly describes the economic or other special interest of each person who contributed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more. If two or more of these persons have the same employer, the committee shall also include the employer’s identity in the disclosure statement.
(c) As used in this section, “cumulative contributions” means the cumulative amount of contributions received by a committee beginning 12 months prior to the date the committee made its first expenditure to qualify or support the measure.
(d) This section shall not be construed to require a local elections official to verify the accuracy of the information required by subdivision (a) or (b) or to reapprove the petition upon the update required by paragraph (3) of subdivision (a).
(e) Signatures collected on an initiative, referendum, or recall petition are not invalid solely because the information required by subdivision (a) or (b) was absent or inaccurate.