California ballot initiative news archives, 2009
- 1 New $8 billion budget gap
- 2 Split California in 2?
- 3 Legislative proposal on ballot titles
- 4 California Prop 1A ballot title challenged
- 5 California Prop 1E ballot title challenged
- 6 The Maldonado amendments
- 7 Five ballot propositions possible
- 8 Ballot measure funds change proposed
- 9 Budget plans must face voters
- 10 May special election
- 11 June 8, 2010 Primary Election Ballot
- 12 Archives
- 13 References
See: California ballot initiative news for current news.
New $8 billion budget gap
Although six of the seven statewide ballot propositions on the May ballot (1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E and 1F) are intended to close an approximately $42 billion budget gap, the California Legislative Analyst's Office, an agency of the state government, said in early March that tax revenues flowing into the state treasury are "well below" the projections it used earlier in the year, and that California's government now faces an additional $8 billion gap in addition to the earlier $42 billion gap.
Split California in 2?
In the aftermath of California Proposition 2 (2008), a movement to split California into two states has arisen. Bill Maze, the president and founder of "Citizens for Saving California Farming Industries", says, "We have to ask ourselves, 'Is there a better way to govern this state?'" The group believes that the state's inland counties are very politically and culturally different from the more coastal counties, and they don't want to be governed by the prevailing dominant policies that spring from those more populous counties. They've established a website called "Downsize California".
Legislative proposal on ballot titles
Roger Niello, a Republican in the California State Assembly, has introduced California Assembly Bill 319. AB 319 proposes to transfer responsibility for writing the ballot titles of statewide California propositions from the California Attorney General's office to the office of the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO). AB 319 would also have the LAO come up with the fiscal estimates for statewide ballot propositions, rather than the current system under which the fiscal estimate is compiled jointly by the Department of Finance and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee along with an estimate by the LAO.
California Prop 1A ballot title challenged
The liberal group "Health Access California", and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, filed a lawsuit against the California Secretary of State saying that the ballot language for Proposition 1A is "misleading" and "advocacy language."
A Sacramento judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on March 5. His ruling says:
- Where the original ballot title said "reforms", it must now say "changes" the budget process.
- The title must say Proposition 1A "could" limit deficits and spending, not that it will or does limit them.
California Prop 1E ballot title challenged
Rusty Selix and Richard Van Horn filed a lawsuit with Judge Michael P. Kenny in Sacramento Superior Court on March 4, 2009 saying that Prop 1E's ballot title is "false and misleading" because it "does not clearly state that Proposition 1E would redirect the money the voters earmarked in 2004." The plaintiffs want the judge to order the California Secretary of State to re-write the ballot language.
Selix and Van Horn dropped their lawsuit shortly after it was filed, saying they had come to an agreement with the Secretary of State's office to change elements in the ballot title. The agreed-upon new ballot summary says that 1E diverts $230 million annually for two years from certain state programs in order to help balance the budget.
The Maldonado amendments
The three propositions Maldonado wants are:
- California No Pay for No Budget (2009)
- California No Raises in Deficit Years (2009)
- California Open Primary System (2009).
Five ballot propositions possible
Specific ballot propositions that voters may be asked to approve to clinch the budget deal agreement coming out of Sacramento include:
- California Spending Cap Amendment (2009)
- A proposition to alter California Proposition 98 (1998)
- Borrowing from the lottery.
- Taking money from California Proposition 10 (1998)
- Taking funds from California Proposition 63 (2004).
Ballot measure funds change proposed
The Fair Political Practices Commission is considering a set of new rules to govern how politicians can raise and spend money for ballot measures. Currently, politicians can raise money for ballot measure funds, but do not have to spend the money in ballot measure campaign accounts specifically for ballot measures. Ross Johnson, the FPPC's chairman, thinks this creates the potential for abuse, referring to the funds as "open-ended slush funds".
Budget plans must face voters
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "Regardless of when a new budget deal gets passed, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger still is going to need help from California's voters to close the state's $42 billion budget gap, and that help may not be easy to come by."
H.D. Palmer, who works for the state's Department of Finance, says, "Several key components of the budget agreements need to go back to the voters because they're revisions of ballot measures the voters originally approved."
May special election
A special statewide election will take place in California on May 19 to vote for a replacement for Hilda Solis, Congresswoman from CD 32 and 6 propositions geared towards helping California balance the budget. The ballot will include:
- Proposition 1A: Stabilizes State Budget. Reforms CA Budget Process. Limits State Spending. Increases "Rainy Day" Budget Stabilization Fund
- Proposition 1B: Election Funding. Payment Plan
- Proposition 1C: Lottery Modernization Act
- Proposition 1D: Protects Children's Services Funding. Helps Balance State Budget.
- Proposition 1E: Ensures Funding for Children's Mental Health Services. Helps Balance State Budget
- Proposition 1F: Elected Officials' Salaries. Prevents Pay Increases During Budget Deficit Years.
The ballot may also include:
- California Spending Cap Amendment (2009)
- California End the Two-Thirds Requirement Amendment (2009)
- California Assembly Bill 220 (2009).
June 8, 2010 Primary Election Ballot
Three bills are already slated for inclusion on the California Primary Election Ballot for the June 8, 2010 election.
- California SCA 4. Elections: Open Primaries
- California SCA 4. Property Tax: New Construction Exclusion: Seismic Retrofitting
- California Assembly Bill 583. Political Reform Act of 1974: CA Fair Elections Act of 2008
- San Diego Union-Tribune, "State budget springs a leak", March 14, 2009
- Website of "Downsize California"
- New York Times, "Farmers Lead a Bid to Create 2 Californias", March 13, 2009
- Rocklin Today, "AB 319 will reduce misleading information for ballot initiatives", February 26, 2009
- Los Angeles Times, "Read between the lines to find the tax hike", March 4, 2009
- Mercury News, "Judge agrees to alter spending cap ballot wording", March 5, 2009
- Sacramento Bee, "Lawsuit challenges Proposition 1E ballot label", March 4, 2009
- Sacramento Bee, "Mental health advocates drop challenge to ballot summary", March 5, 2009
- Sacramento Bee, "Maldonado's price for budget vote: 3 constitutional amendments", February 19, 2009
- Inside Bay Area, "Editorial: Budget deal a step forward, but voters must pass five ballot measures", February 15, 2009
- Sacramento Bee, "FPPC targets ballot campaign accounts", January 15, 2009
- Fresno Bee, "Politicians find ways to conceal donors", January 19, 2009
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Any OKd budget plan faces battle at ballot box", February 17, 2009
- CA Secretary of State, "Propositions that are on the May 19, 2009 Statewide Special Election Ballot"
- Los Angeles Times, "The Next Special Election: April? May? June?", February 9, 2009