Deadline to submit signatures for initiatives in California is April 18

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April 18, 2014

By Ryan Byrne

California
Over 60 citizen's initiatives were filed in California for the general election ballot in November 2014. Today, April 18, 2014, is the deadline for initiative and referendum proponents to submit their collected signatures with county election officials, as suggested by the California Secretary of State.[1] The deadline, however, has operated in the past as a date of assured consideration. Signatures for initiatives, such as 2012's Proposition 30 and Proposition 31, have been submitted upwards of eighteen days after the deadline and still qualified for the general election ballot for that year. Proponents of initiatives who submit their signatures after the April 18 deadline for 2014, but by their initiative's petition circulation deadline, will likely have their initiative placed on the 2016 ballot, rather than the 2014 ballot, upon signature verification and certification.

So far only one initiative and one referendum have been qualified for the ballot. The Insurance Companies Required to Justify Their Rates to the Public Initiative was qualified for the 2014 ballot on August 23, 2013. The initiative's campaign was shooting to get their measure on the 2012 ballot, but submitted signatures 28 days after the 2012 signature deadline. The Referendum to Overturn Indian Gaming Compacts was qualified for the 2014 ballot on November 20, 2013.

Currently, county officials across California are counting signatures for the Increase in Cap on Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Initiative. The measure would increase the state's cap on damages that can be assessed in medical negligence lawsuits to over $1 million from the current cap of $250,000, as well as require drug and alcohol testing of doctors and reporting of positive tests to the California Medical Board.[2] About 830,000 signatures were filed by supporters with election officials on March 24, 2014.[3] 504,760 valid signatures are required to qualify the measure for the ballot.

The Office of the California Secretary of State will issue updates in the coming week noting which initiative campaigns submitted signatures for verification.

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