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SCA-1 Elections: referenda.(2021-2022)

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SCA1:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Constitutional Amendment
No. 1


Introduced by Senator Hertzberg

December 07, 2020


A resolution to propose to the people of the State of California an amendment to the Constitution of the State, by amending Sections 9 and 10 of Article II thereof, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SCA 1, as introduced, Hertzberg. Elections: referenda.
The California Constitution provides that the electors may approve or reject a statute by referendum. A referendum measure may be proposed by presenting to the Secretary of State a petition that sets forth the statute or part of the statute to be submitted to the electors, and is certified to have been signed by the required number of electors. A majority vote in favor of a referendum measure approves the statute or part of the statute subject to the referendum, and the statute then takes effect on the fifth day after the Secretary of State files the statement of the vote for the election at which the measure is voted on.
This measure would instead require that the ballot for a referendum measure provide that a “Yes” vote is in favor of the referendum and rejects the statute or part of the statute subject to the referendum, and a “No” vote is against the referendum and approves the statute or part of the statute subject to the referendum, thus requiring a majority vote in favor of the referendum to reject the statute or part of the statute subject to the referendum. The measure would also make conforming changes.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

Resolved by the Senate, the Assembly concurring, That the Legislature of the State of California at its 2021-22 Regular Session commencing on the seventh day of December 2020, 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 9 of Article II thereof is amended to read:

SEC. 9.
 (a) The referendum is the power of the electors to approve or reject statutes or parts of statutes except urgency statutes, statutes calling elections, and statutes providing for tax levies or appropriations for usual current expenses of the State.
(b) A referendum measure may be proposed by presenting to the Secretary of State, within 90 days after the enactment date of the statute, a petition certified to have been signed by electors equal in number to 5 percent of the votes for all candidates for Governor at the last gubernatorial election, asking that the statute or part of it be submitted to the electors. In the case of a statute enacted by a bill passed by the Legislature on or before the date the Legislature adjourns for a joint recess to reconvene in the second calendar year of the biennium of the legislative session, and in the possession of the Governor after that date, the petition may not be presented on or after January 1 next following the enactment date unless a copy of the petition is submitted to the Attorney General pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 10 of Article II before January 1.
(c) The Secretary of State shall then submit the measure at the next general election held at least 31 days after it qualifies or at a special statewide election held prior to that general election. The ballot shall provide that a “Yes” vote is in favor of the referendum and rejects the statute or part of the statute subject to the referendum, and a “No” vote is against the referendum and approves the statute or part of the statute subject to the referendum. The Governor may call a special statewide election for the measure.

Second—

 That Section 10 of Article II thereof is amended to read:

SEC. 10.
 (a) An initiative statute or referendum approved by a majority of votes cast thereon takes effect on the fifth day after the Secretary of State files the statement of the vote for the election at which the measure is voted on, but the measure may provide that it becomes operative after its effective date. If a referendum measure fails by not receiving a majority of votes cast, the statute or part of a statute that was the subject of the referendum takes effect on the fifth day after the Secretary of State files the statement of the vote for the election at which the measure is voted on. If a referendum petition is filed against a part of a statute, the remainder of the statute shall not be delayed from going into effect.
(b) If provisions of two or more measures approved at the same election conflict, the provisions of the measure receiving the highest number of affirmative votes shall prevail.
(c) The Legislature may amend or repeal a referendum statute. statute or part of a statute that is the subject of a referendum. 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 the electors’ approval.
(d) Before circulation of an initiative or referendum petition for signatures, a copy shall be submitted to the Attorney General who shall prepare a title and summary of the measure as provided by law. The petition shall provide that a “Yes” vote is in favor of the referendum and rejects the statute or part of the statute subject to the referendum, and a “No” vote is against the referendum and approves the statute or part of the statute subject to the referendum.
(e) The Legislature shall provide for the manner in which a petition shall be circulated, presented, and certified, and the manner in which a measure shall be submitted to the electors.