California Proposition 12, Bilateral Nuclear Weapons Freeze Initiative (1982)
Proposition 12 required the Governor of California to "transmit by December 31, 1982, a letter to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and all Members of Congress. The letter must urge the United States to propose to the Soviet Union that both countries halt the testing, production, and deployment of all nuclear weapons in a way that can be checked and verified by both governments."
The specific language that was transmitted to the federal government said:
- ""The People of the State of California, recognizing that the safety and security of the United States must be paramount in the concerns of the American people; and further recognizing that our national security is reduced, not increased, by the growing danger of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union which would result in millions of deaths of people in California and throughout the nation; do hereby urge that the Government of the United States propose to the Government of the Soviet Union that both countries agree to immediately halt the testing, production and further deployment of all nuclear weapons, missiles and delivery systems in a way that can be checked and verified by both sides."
Propositin 12 added the language of the Bilateral Nuclear Weapons Freeze Initiative to the California Code.
Proposition 12's official ballot summary said:
- "This measure identifies the people's concern about the danger of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union and states findings and declarations regarding this. It requires the Governor of California to write a specified communication to the President of the United States and other identified United States officials urging that the United States government propose to the Soviet Union government that both countries agree to immediately halt the testing, production and further deployment of all nuclear weapons, missiles and delivery systems in a way that can be checked and verified by both sides."
The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:
- "This measure would have no direct fiscal effect on the state and local governments."
Path to the ballot
As an initiated state statute, Proposition 12 earned its spot on the California statewide ballot through the collection of signatures on petitions.