California ballot initiative news archives, 2008

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Archive, 2008 ballot initiative news, California

See: California ballot news for current news.

California propositions get their numbers

"Eleven new measures, including initiatives to ban same-sex marriage, toughen criminal penalties for gang members and take redistricting out of the hands of the Legislature, received their official ballot numbers Friday, setting the table for what's likely to be another long and expensive campaign season." ...more

Term limits in Ventura

Ventura County voters will decide in November whether to limit county supervisors to three terms, after the board took the final step Tuesday to put the matter on the ballot. The supervisors agreed last year to submit Supervisor Peter Foy's term limits measure to the voters, and the vote Tuesday was a formality to place it on the ballot.......more

Ten statewide measures ready for November ballot

Ten statewide measures will appear on the November ballot in California, and a number of other possible initiatives are still in the field collecting signatures.

On June 3, school bonds, League of Cities win big

Proposition 98 crashed, rival Proposition 99 soared, and everything came up roses for Jeff Denham. School superintendents are beaming all over the state. Some believe that a stern puritanical tide has swept through previously laid back Mendocino. In Porterville, God is now legally trusted. Californians can take a deep breath and prepare for the November onslaught, with abortion, marriage and clean energy all on the same ballot.

Gay marriage ban qualifies for November ballot

Debra Rowen, the California Secretary of State, announced on June 2 that the Limit on Marriage Initiative has qualified for the November ballot. The initiative, if it passes, will undo a May 2008 ruling of the California Supreme Court invalidating an earlier gay marriage ban, California Proposition 22 (2000)....more

Parental notification for abortion makes ballot

Supporters of the California Parental Notification Act were notified on May 30 that their initiative had qualified for the November 2008 ballot.

California SOS institutes up-to-the-minute-information on signature validation

Debra Rowen, the California Secretary of State, has instituted a new disclosure practice on the "Initiatives Update" website maintained by her office, namely, for any initiative on which signatures are undergoing the validation process, a website reader can click to see a spreadsheet of how many signatures have been validated, per county. Seven initiatives are pending validation for the November ballot--the Limit on Marriage Initiative, Voters First Initiative, the Abortion Waiting Period & Parental Notification Initiative, the Clean, Renewable Energy Initiative, Nonviolent Offenders Initiative, and Marsy's Law.

California top court legalizes gay marriage

May 15, 2008. In a court ruling with broad implications and heated national interest, the California Supreme Court on May 15 declared that California Proposition 22 (2000) was unconstitutional. This gives new significant to a ballot measure heading for the November 2008 ballot in the state, the Limit on Marriage Initiative. ...more

Ojai, ballot activist at legal loggerheads

May 6, 2008. The city of Ojai and local activist Jeff Furchtenicht are appealing a 2006 decision by Ventura County Superior Court judge. The ongoing case, which has cost Ojai over $78,000 in legal fees, began when city attorney Monte Widders refused to prepare a ballot title and summary for two citizen’s initiatives, proposed by Furchtenicht on Aug. 21, 2006. ...more

Reforms urged for California initiative system

May 2, 2008. Ballot initiatives have reshaped the lives of California citizens for almost 100 years, yet the initiative process itself has become outmoded, inflexible, confusing, complex, difficult for citizens to use and excessively dominated by money, concludes a new report, Democracy by Initiative: Shaping California's Fourth Branch of Government, issued by the Center for Governmental Studies. ...more

Big Labor donates $750K in two days to recall Denham

As State Senator Jeff Denham fights for his political life with a recall looming on June 3, the San Francisco Chronicle, "None of the $495,000 raised this year by the pro-recall group comes from the district." Big Labor is spending Big Money on the recall. In late April, AFSCME put $300,000 into the recall, and the California State Council of Service Employees added another $450,000.[1]

"Safe Neighborhood Act" supporters turn in signatures

Supporters of the Safe Neighborhood Act turned in over 750,000 signatures on April 25 to qualify the measure for the November 2008 ballot.[2][3] The signatures will now be checked for validity. The measure is a "get tough on crime" bill that would require about $350 million a year to fully fund.

June 3 school bond issues total over $1.2 billion

On June 3, voters in fifteen school districts will vote on bond issues totalling over $1.2 billion. See California 2008 local ballot measures for details.

Right to Health Initiative fails

Debra Bowen's office announced on April 18, 2008 that the Right to Health Initiative had failed to obtain enough signatures by its statutory deadline.[4]

Oakland group plans to initiate petition for youth funding

The Oakland Kids First Two Initiative is proposed by its supporters in Oakland, California for the November 2008 ballot.[5]

The measure, if it makes the ballot and is approved by voters, would double the funding the city provides for a youth services program, the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth. The existing program is funded by 1.5% of the city's annual revenues. The proposed ballot initiative would keep the funding at that level until 2012, when the spending level would increase to 2.5% of city revenues.

Alternative fuels initiative poised to file signatures

The California Solar and Clean Energy Initiative (2008) would, if approved, require California utilities to generate half of their power through renewable sources by 2025. In order to make that goal, levels of production of solar, wind and other alternative energy sources would have to quadruple from their current output.[6]

According to Jim Gonzalez, the former San Francisco supervisor who chairs the initiative committee, 735,000 signatures have already been collected—significantly more than the 433,971 valid signatures required—and will be filed the week of April 7, 2008.[7]

Cigarette tax initiative approved for circulation

Debra Bowen's office announced on April 2 that the California Children's Health Insurance and Youth Smoking Initiative (2008) is ready for petition circulation.[8]

Teachers union opposes anti-development initiative

The Unified Association of Conejo Teachers has voted to oppose City of Thousand Oaks "Right to Vote on Traffic Congestion," Measure B (June 2008), arguing that the school district will lose future property tax revenues if the measure passes and vote‎rs reject large development projects that have an impact on traffic congestion.

Jeff Denham recall election set for June

After recall signatures were certified, Gov. Schwarzenegger on April 1 issued the official proclamation certifying that an election to recall Jeff Denham will take place on June 3, 2008.

Three more initiatives approved for circulation

Debra Bowen's office announced on March 26 that three more initiatives have been approved by the AG's office for circulation, the Human Embryo Research Ban, Human Cloning Ban, and an initiative to restrict abortion.[9]

Charges fly in Napa Valley slow-growth initiative

As Measure N heads for the June ballot, opponents have spent over $200,000 to slow down the slow-growth proposal. Measure N, a county-wide initiative, would require any political subdivision in the county to put many real estate development proposals to a vote of the people. Backers of the initiative have not disclosed their donors.

Assembly Dems move to regulate initiative process

Representative Al Torrico, a Democrat, has proposed California Assembly Bill 1914 (2008). AB 1914 would require initiative sponsors to report allegations of circulator malfeasance to the government or risk a civil penalty.

Pasadena City Council endorses statewide ballot measure

In early March 2008, the Pasadena City Council became the first California city to endorse the California Voters First Initiative (2008).[10]

L.A. Developers cut deal to receive $246 in tax breaks

AEG devlopers, whose hotel project is expected to receive at least $246 million in tax breaks from the city of Los Angeles is taking lead of the city's effort to win Proposition S. The passage of the proposal would pass a telephone utility tax on the Feb. 5 ballot. Tim Leiweke, president and chief executive of AEG, has sent a fundraising letter urging businesses across the city to contribute $100,000 apiece to Proposition S. The pitch drew criticism from opponents, who argued the city would not need so much tax revenue if it gave smaller raises to public employees and fewer tax breaks to real estate projects.[11]

Ninth Circuit strikes down PAC burdens on ballot measures

The California Prolife Council recently won an appeal that now makes it illegal to place PAC burdens on groups that occasionally become involved in ballot measure campaigns. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that PAC requirements could not be placed on groups involved in ballot measure advocacy and that only donors involved in the ballot measure must be disclosed.[12]

Los Gatos City Council puts skate park on ballot

Despite strong opposition the town council has agreed to put the proposal for a new skate park on the Feb. 5 presidential primary election ballot. Proponents collected 1,833 signatures to qualify the initiative for the election, which calls for the town to spend possibly $1 million to build the skate park and up to $50,000 a year to maintain it. One of the park's opponents, Randi Chen said, "If you put this on the ballot you can expect that the soccer, baseball and basketball leagues will band together, get a ballot initiative requiring the town to buy some land and give us each $50,000 a year to maintain it."[13]

Marriage Amendment proposed in California

In California a new proposition is being prepared to ban same-sex marriage. The new ballot measure aims to strengthen the state's current ban. Proposition 22 requires that marriage be between a man and a woman, but because the proposition enacted a statute rather than a constitutional amendment, it is more susceptible to legal challenge.[14]

Ballot to drive off uninsured motorists

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is reportedly pushing the idea of a ballot measure for 2008 designed to get uninsured motorists off the roads. One provision of the ballot measure would allow police officers to remove license plates from vehicles driven by uninsured motorists. There are some rumors that Poizner is using the ballot measure to boost his name recognition before the 2010 election.[15]

Gambling initiatives spark workers rights war

Four tribal compacts are set to be approved by voters on the February 5, 2008 California ballot. While the deals have already been given the stamp of approval by the Governor and Legislature, others are protesting the working conditions of the casinos. The tribes are backing the initiatives, having already spent over $17 million dollars.

Morongo Band of Mission Indians ($5, 172,286)
Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation ($657,770)
Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians ($5,880,200)
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians ($5,447,863)[16]

See: California Gaming Compact Initiatives (2008)

Initiative to extend term limits loses steam

Down from a 56 percent approval rating to 51 percent, a term limits proposition is steadily losing favor amongst constituents and the legislature. The reason many believe that the term limits initiative is losing ground is because the emphasis in the ballot summary is on shortening the amount of overall time a lawmaker can spend in office from 14 years to 12 years, despite the fact that it would allow the legislature to spend a longer time in the Assembly or Senate.[17]