California Legislative Vacancy Appointments Amendment (2014)

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The California Legislative Vacancy Appointments Amendment will not be on the November 4, 2014 ballot in California as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would have required the governor to fill state legislative vacancies by appointing an individual with the same political party preference as the vacating member within twenty-one days of the vacancy. The amendment would have also allowed the house to which the appointment is made to reject the appointment by a majority vote, in which case the governor would have had to make another appointment.[1]

The proposed amendment was introduced into the California Legislature by State Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-6) as Senate Constitutional Amendment #16.[1]

Support

Arguments

  • Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-6), who introduced the amendment, said special elections for state legislative offices are expensive, have low-turnout and leave constituents without a representative for an extended period of time.[2]

Opposition

Arguments

  • Rep. Dan Logue (R-3) argued, "After a couple of elections didn't turn out their way, Sacramento's liberal majority now wants to end fair elections and take away the right of the people to choose their own representatives so they can institutionalize their one-party rule at the State Capitol. We would expect this kind of thing in Cuba or North Korea, but not in a state like California with a proud tradition of direct democracy."[2]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the California Constitution

A two-thirds vote was required in both chambers of the California Legislature to place an amendment on the ballot.

The timeline for Senate Constitutional Amendment #16 was:[1]

  • February 20, 2014: Introduced into the California State Senate
  • February 22, 2014: Approved by the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee
  • May 23, 2014: Approved by the Senate Committee on Appropriations

See also

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References


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