California Assembly Bill 1914 (2008)

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California Assembly Bill 1914 is a legislative bill to impose additional regulations on laws governing the initiative process in California. Sponsored by Democrat Al Torrico, AB 1914 passed out of the Assembly Election and Redistricting Committee on March 26, 2008 on a 5-0-2 vote, heading to the Assembly's Judiciary Committee.

The purpose of the bill is to require sponsors of initiative, referendum or recall petitions to:

  • Notify the signer of a petition, by either first class mail or telephone, that the signature of the signer is invalid and specify the reason why the signature is invalid, in the event that the petition circulator who solicited the signature is found to have misrepresented the contents of the petition.
  • Impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000 on sponsors of initiatives if the sponsor is aware of a violation relating to circulation of a statewide petition and doesn't notify the Secretary of State.

Punditry on AB 1914

Joe Matthews, the Irvine senior fellow at the New America Foundation, said of the bill, "One wonders if the sponsor has met any signature gatherers, who tend to be, shall we say, independent-minded. They often are folks who, because of their life choices, like to be paid in cash. How does one police these misrepresentations? Who decides? This bill may pass, but it seems like an outrageous criminalization of political speech that will produce nothing more than litigation."[1]

Other initiative restrictions proposed in 2008 in California and elsewhere

Jeff Denham has proposed California Senate Bill 1686 (2008), which would fine owners and managers of petition drives if circulators were shown to have committed various petitioning infractions.

See also: Changes in 2008 to laws governing the initiative process

External links