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SCA-12 Counties: governing body: county executive. (2017-2018)

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SCA12:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 27, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 12


Introduced by Senator Mendoza
(Principal coauthor: Senator Wilk)
(Coauthors: Senators Allen, Bradford, Galgiani, Hertzberg, Hill, Hueso, Leyva, and Wiener)

April 27, 2017


A resolution to propose to the people of the State of California an amendment to the Constitution of the State, by amending Section 4 of, and adding Sections 4.5 and 4.6 to, Article XI thereof, relating to counties.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SCA 12, as amended, Mendoza. Counties: governing body: county executive.
(1) The California Constitution requires that a county charter provide for a governing body of 5 or more members, elected by district, at large, or at large with a requirement that they reside in a district, and provide for the compensation, terms, and removal of members of the governing body. Existing law also requires a general law county to have a board of supervisors consisting of 5 members, and requires, except as provided, each member of the board of supervisors to be elected by the district which the member represents.
This measure would, commencing January 1, 2022, in a county that is found at a decennial United States census, beginning with the 2020 United States census, to have a population of more than 5,000,000, require, and deem any applicable law, including a county charter, to require, a governing body consisting of the greater of either 5 members or a sufficient number of members so as to ensure that each member represents a district containing a population equivalent to no more than 2 districts in the United States House of Representatives. The measure would require that the members of the governing body serve for a term of 4 years and limit election to the governing body to no more than 3 terms. The measure would also provide that, in such a county, the expenditures for the governing body and its staff may not exceed, for any subsequent fiscal year after the release of the census finding that the county has a population of more than 5,000,000, the amount that was allocated for the expenses of the governing body and its staff in the county’s adopted budget for the fiscal year in which that same census was conducted, unless adjusted as provided.
(2) The California Constitution additionally requires that a county charter provide for an elected sheriff, an elected district attorney, an elected assessor, and other officers.
This measure would require a county that is found at a decennial United States census, beginning with the 2020 United States census, to have a population of more than 5,000,000, to have an elected county executive. The measure would provide for the election of the county executive to a term of 6 years at a general election, and would limit election to that office to no more than 2 terms. The measure would require the county executive to appoint, supervise, and dismiss any appointed department head, and to appoint the members of county commissions, subject to confirmation by the governing body of the county. The measure would additionally require the county executive to develop and submit the county budget to the governing body, for approval or amendment by that body, and to approve, with or without line-item vetoes, the budget as transmitted back by the governing body.
(3) The California Constitution provides that charter counties are subject to statutes that relate to apportioning population of governing body districts.
This measure would recast this provision to provide that charter counties are subject to federal, state, and local laws that relate to apportioning population of governing body districts.
(4) This measure would also make other technical, nonsubstantive changes.
(5) This measure would declare that its provisions are severable.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

WHEREAS, California’s counties are creations of the state and their governance is mandated by the California Constitution, and changes to certain aspects of their governance require amendment of the California Constitution; and
WHEREAS, California’s counties are governed by elected members of a board of supervisors; and
WHEREAS, The number of members of the board of supervisors in most counties has remained unchanged for more than a century despite enormous increases in the county’s population which, in some cases, are greater than the population of individual states in the Union; and
WHEREAS, It is a well-recognized principle that residents are more efficiently able to access their representatives for assistance for services and to hold them better accountable when the ratio of residents to each elected representative on a governing body is smaller rather than larger; and
WHEREAS, It is important to restrain the costs of governance by restricting the fiscal impact of any changes in any county’s board of supervisors and the creation of an elected county executive position; and
WHEREAS, It is therefore the intent of the people, in adopting this measure, to make all of the following changes with regard to the county board of supervisors in each county having a population of more than 5,000,000 at each decennial United States census:
(a) Increase democratic representation by making an effort to substantially reduce the population in each supervisorial district to approximate the combined population of two congressional districts;
(b) Establish smaller supervisorial districts, to provide greater opportunities for public participation in local government that provide safety, health, transportation, and other vital services;
(c) By creating a county executive position to separate the legislative and executive functions of the County of Los Angeles, consistent with the Los Angeles County Civil Grand Jury’s July 2016 Report recommending changes for the governance of the County of Los Angeles given the county’s complexity of populations, demographics, services, and financing sources, among other matters;
(d) To control the costs and size of county government through restriction of future costs for the board of supervisors and the proposed elected county executive to current respective budgets; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate, the Assembly concurring, That the Legislature of the State of California at its 2017–18 Regular Session commencing on the fifth day of December 2016, two-thirds of the membership of each house concurring, hereby proposes to the people of the State of California, that the Constitution of the State be amended as follows:

First—

 That Section 4 of Article XI thereof is amended to read:

SEC. 4.
 County charters shall provide for:
(a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 4.5, a governing body of five or more members, elected (1) by district or, (2) at large, or (3) at large, with a requirement that each member reside in a district. Charter counties are subject to federal, state, and local laws that relate to apportioning population of governing body districts.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in Section 4.5, the compensation, terms, and removal of members of the governing body. If a county charter provides for the Legislature to prescribe the salary of the governing body, compensation shall be prescribed by the governing body by ordinance.
(c) An elected sheriff, an elected district attorney, an elected assessor, other officers, their election or appointment, compensation, terms, and removal, except as otherwise provided in Section 4.6.
(d) The performance of functions required by statute.
(e) The powers and duties of governing bodies and all other county officers, and for consolidation and segregation of county officers, and for the manner of filling all vacancies occurring in those offices.
(f) The fixing and regulation by governing bodies, by ordinance, of the appointment and number of assistants, deputies, clerks, attachés, and other persons to be employed, and for the prescribing and regulating by such bodies of the powers, duties, qualifications, and compensation of such persons, the times at which, and terms for which they shall be appointed, and the manner of their appointment and removal.
(g) Whenever any county has framed and adopted a charter, and the same shall have been approved by the Legislature as herein provided, the general laws adopted by the Legislature in pursuance of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of this article, shall, as to such county, be superseded by said charter as to matters for which, under this section it is competent to make provision in such charter, and for which provision is made therein, except as herein otherwise expressly provided.
(h) Charter counties shall have all the powers that are provided by this Constitution or by statute for counties.

Second—

 That Section 4.5 is added to Article XI thereof, to read:

SEC. 4.5.
 (a) Commencing January 1, 2022, in a county that is found at a decennial United States census, beginning with the 2020 United States census, to have a population of more than 5,000,000, there is required, and any applicable law, including a county charter, shall be deemed to require, the following:
(1) The governing body shall consist of the greater of either five members or a sufficient number of members, elected by district, so as to ensure that each member of the governing body represents, to the extent practicable, a district containing a population approximately equivalent to no more than two districts in the United States House of Representatives. Each member of the governing body shall reside within the district that he or she represents.
(2) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the expenditures for the governing body and its staff shall not exceed, for any subsequent fiscal year after the release of the census finding a population of more than 5,000,000, the amount that was allocated for the expenses of the governing body and its staff in the county’s adopted budget for the fiscal year in which that same census was conducted.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the expenditures for the governing body and its staff may be adjusted for either of the following reasons:
(i) To account for inflation, as reflected in annual changes in the California Consumer Price Index.
(ii) To address contingencies that were unaccounted for during or that could not have been anticipated in the fiscal year in which the census was conducted.
(3) Members of the governing body shall serve for terms of four years. A member of the governing body shall not serve more than three terms, whether or not those terms are consecutive.
(b) Any members of the governing body required by this section in addition to those required by any other law, including an existing charter, shall first be elected at a general election occurring on or after January 1, 2022. Those additional members shall serve for the same term and subject to the same provisions of the applicable law or charter to the governing body, except that no more than one-half of the additional members elected on or after January 1, 2022, may serve a shortened term so as to provide for staggered terms.

Third—

 That Section 4.6 is added to Article XI thereof, to read:

SEC. 4.6.
 (a) (1) A county that is found at a decennial United States census beginning with the 2020 United States census to have a population of more than 5,000,000 shall have an elected county executive who shall serve a term of six years. The county executive shall not serve more than two terms, whether or not those terms are consecutive. The election of the county executive shall occur at a general election.
(2) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the budget for the county executive for the first fiscal year in which that office is in existence pursuant to this section shall be based upon the budget of the chief executive officer or his or her equivalent, if any, in the fiscal year in which this section was added.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the amount of expenditures for the governing body may be adjusted for any fiscal year for either of the following reasons:
(i) To account for inflation, as reflected in annual changes in the California Consumer Price Index.
(ii) To address contingencies that were unaccounted for during or that could not have been anticipated in the first fiscal year in which this section was added.
(C) The salary of the county executive shall be the same as the salary paid to the presiding judge of the superior court with jurisdiction over the county and may be adjusted in the same manner. This subparagraph shall not be construed as a limitation on the authority of the Legislature to set the compensation for judges of courts of record pursuant to Section 19 of Article VI.
(b) (1) (A) The county executive shall appoint, supervise, and dismiss any person appointed to the position of department head, or its equivalent.
(B) The governing body of the county may overrule any appointment or dismissal made pursuant to this paragraph by a two-thirds vote of its entire membership. The governing body shall notify the county executive of its intent to overrule and shall take action within 30 calendar days of the date of notification. During the 30 calendar days, the county executive’s appointment or dismissal action shall be suspended.
(2) The county executive shall appoint the members of any commission of the county, subject to confirmation by the governing body of the county.
(c) (1) The county executive, within 45 days of the adoption of the annual state budget pursuant to Section 12 of Article IV, On or before June 30 of each year, the county executive shall develop and submit to the governing body of the county an annual budget for the county.
(2) Within 90 60 days of receipt of the budget pursuant to paragraph (1), the governing body of the county shall review and approve the budget, with or without amendments, and transmit the budget to the county executive for review and final approval.
(3) (A) Within 15 days of receipt of the budget pursuant to paragraph (2), the county executive shall either:
(i) Approve the budget as transmitted by the board of supervisors pursuant to paragraph (2).
(ii) Approve the budget with any line-item vetoes.
(B) Upon taking an action pursuant to clause (i) or (ii), the county executive shall return the budget to the governing body of the county along with the action taken.
(4) The governing body of the county may, within 15 days of an approval of a budget with a line-item veto pursuant to clause (ii) of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3), override the veto by a two-thirds vote of its entire membership.
(5) An approved budget may be amended as follows:
(A) By a proposal of the county executive. The county executive shall present any proposed amendments to the governing body of the county. The governing body shall review any proposed amendment presented by the county executive, and may approve any amendments by a two-thirds vote of its entire membership.
(B) By the governing body, which shall approve any amendment to an approved budget by a two-thirds vote of its entire membership.
(d) The governing body may override any action of the county executive by a two-thirds vote of its entire membership.

Fourth—

 The provisions of this measure are severable. If any provision of this measure or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.