California 2012 ballot propositions
Altogether, thirteen statewide ballot propositions were on the 2012 ballot in California.
2012 was a high-stakes, high-drama ballot proposition year in California.
A mid-season tug-of-war led to a successful effort to change the traditional order of how the propositions are numbered, and the order in which they appeared on the ballot. A "trailer bill" appended to the 2012 budget and signed by Jerry Brown required that all proposed constitutional amendments were to appear at the top of the ballot proposition portion of the ballot, before any proposed state statutes appear. This was done to give an advantage to Jerry Brown's Tax increase for Education(Proposition 30), a proposed constitutional amendment, over Molly Munger's Tax increase for Education(Proposition 38), which was a proposed statute
The total amount spent collecting signatures to qualify propositions for the 2012 ballot was $28,244,069.
On the ballot
- See also: 2012 ballot measures
|Proposition 28||Term limits||Limit of 8 years (senate)/6 years (assembly) replaced with 12-year limit on combined service|
|CISS||Proposition 29||Taxes||Increase the tax on cigarettes to fund cancer research|
Summary of campaign spending
This chart is a summary of donations to the various campaign committees involved with promoting or opposing the propositions on the November 6, 2012 ballot as of Saturday, November 3, 2012.
In California, campaign committees can register as being simultaneously involved with multiple ballot propositions. Because of this, if you were to add up all the donations listed below, the number you would get is higher than the total that has actually been contributed. For example, the $53.4 million donated to defeat Proposition 30 overlapped with the $60.5 million donated to support Proposition 32 by the over $43 million that was given to the Small Business Action Committee.
|Proposition||Donations in favor||Donations against|
Three of 2012's questions were originally scheduled to appear on the February 7 presidential preference ballot. However, on July 29, 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that moved California's presidential primary from February 7 to June 5. Then, on October 7, Brown signed Senate Bill 202, thereby moving all ballot proposition elections in 2012 onto the November 6, 2012 ballot, with the exception of two initiatives that had already been qualified for the June 5 election.
The Rainy Day Budget Stabilization Act was originally certified for the November 6, 2012 ballot. However, a line was included in Senate Bill 202, signed by Gov. Brown on October 7, 2011, that moved the Rainy Day Act from the November 6, 2012 ballot to the November 4, 2014 ballot.
The Water Bond Measure, up until June 5, 2012, was scheduled to be on the November 6 ballot; at that time, the state legislature acted to remove it from the 2012 ballot and place it, instead, on the state's 2014 ballot.
Cost of processing
It cost the Attorney General of California about $5,000 per filed initiative to implement the required process of issuing a ballot title and summary. Those who file proposed initiatives are only required to pay $200 of this cost, or 4% of the actual cost of processing each initiative. The $200-per-filed-initiative fee was set in 1943.
Political consultant Steven Maviglio commented on the number of filed proposals, "It all boils down to money. There's a $3 million gap, sometimes thankfully, between an idea for the ballot and the reality of getting before the voters. Unfortunately, filing a ballot initiative has become a publicity stunt...This also has become a business operation for many political consultants. Dream up an idea, file a measure, and then see if you can find a Sugar Daddy to fund it. Many of the measures will end up falling by the wayside if they can't attract the millions required to be on the ballot and then approved by voters."
The process of qualifying an initiative for the ballot in California begins when its proponents file the proposed language of the new law with the Attorney General of California. Once the Office of the Attorney General of California has prepared a ballot title and a summary of a proposed initiative, the initiative is considered to be "cleared for circulation". Its supporters then have 150 days from the date that the title and summary were prepared to collect and submit to election officials the required signatures.
To qualify for the 2012 ballot, regardless of their initiative's "150-day deadline," proponents had to file their signatures by March 2, 2012 (if a full check of all signatures was required) or by the "suggested deadline" of April 20, 2012, if so many signatures were filed that the random sampling system came into play.
In 2012, five major proposed initiatives filed their signatures between May 1 and May 15, 2012, well after the "suggested deadline" of April 20 provided by election officials, and still qualified for the November ballot. (Sponsors of a sixth initiative filed their signatures on May 18; this measure did not qualify in time to make the 2012 ballot and will instead appear on the state's 2014 ballot).
Cost of signatures
Note that initiative sponsors sometimes file multiple versions of what is essentially the same ballot initiative with the Attorney General of California. Each version is given its own summary date and circulation date. This means that while the circulation deadline may come and go on one version of the initiative without signatures being filed, the initiative itself may still be alive, if its sponsors are pinning their hopes on a later version of the initiative with a deadline farther in the future.
This is a list of some proposals that members of the California State Legislature had introduced as potential statewide ballot propositions. However, none of these propositions ultimately qualified for the ballot.
|Advisory||AB 78||Immigration||Create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants|
|SCA 5||Elections||Reduce threshold required to pass parcel taxes from 2/3rds to 55%|
|ACA 6||I&R||Ballot initiatives to spend money must identify where money would come from|
|SCA 7||Admin of gov't||Public bodies required to post agendas and disclose any actions taken in meetings|
Local ballot measures
- See also: Local ballot measure elections in 2012
- February 7 • March 6 • March 13 • April 6 • April 10 • May 1 • May 8 • June 5 • July 10 • August 28 • September 18 • November 6
- Ballot titles, summaries and fiscal statements for California 2012 ballot propositions
- 2012 ballot measures
- California voters will have say
- Campaign finance activity for California's 2012 ballot propositions
- Merced Sun-Star, "Our View: Primer on the Nov. 6 Propositions"
- Long Beach Business Journal: November 6 state ballot propositions
- League of Women Voters of California: November 6 State Ballot Propositions
- Many California ballot measures spurred by legislative inaction (dead link)
- Fox and Hounds Daily, "The Initiative That Has Most to Lose From Brown’s Leap," June 27, 2012
- Daily News, "Democrats try to change rules to help tax hike," June 26, 2012
- California Healthline, "Judge Delays State Efforts To Order Nov. Ballot Measures," July 2, 2012
- Sacramento Bee, "What's In a Number?," July 9, 2012 (dead link)
- Prop Zero, "Is November's a Historic Ballot?," July 9, 2012
- Prop Zero, "California Gives Up on Presidential Election Clout," July 29, 2011
- Los Angeles Times, "Little initiative for change," February 16, 2012
- Capitol Weekly, "Elections 2012: A ballot stew starts to boil again," December 1, 2011
- Sacramento Bee, "Jerry Brown says tax signatures in hand," May 3, 2012
- 89.3 KPCC, "Initiative to close tax exemption for out-of-state businesses to join November ballot," May 4, 2012
- FireDogLake Elections, "CA: Genetically Modified Food Labeling Initiative Likely to Make the Ballot," May 2, 2012
- Sacramento Bee, "Signatures for Molly Munger's tax plan submitted in Los Angeles," May 2, 2012
- Los Angeles Business Journal, "Signatures Submitted for Health Insurance Rate Initiative," May 18, 2012