California 2012 ballot propositions
Seven statewide ballot propositions have been certified for the 2012 ballot in California -- two on the June 5, 2012 ballot and five on the November 6, 2012 ballot.
Dozens more are in circulation and may still qualify for the state's November 6, 2012 ballot. Based on the initiatives that have already qualified and those that are in circulation, 2012 will be yet another very high-stakes, high-drama ballot proposition year in California.
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.
California's 2012 state legislative session began on January 4, 2012 and is scheduled to end on August 31 , 2012. During this session, the California State Legislature may vote to refer propositions to the state's November 6, 2012 ballot. These referrals, if any take place, are in addition to any propositions that get on the ballot via the petition process.
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|
|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|
Cost of processing
It costs 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."
Submitted to Att'y General
- See also: Potential 2012 ballot measures
When an initiative proponent has prepared the text of a ballot initiative they hope to qualify for the ballot, they must submit this text to the "Initiative Coordinator" at the Office of the Attorney General of California with an accompanying letter requesting that the Attorney General's office prepare a ballot title and summary of the proposal.
Once the AG's office has prepared that title and summary, they send a copy of it to the initiative's sponsor and to the California Secretary of State's office. Each initiative is given a "summary date." This date is determined by the Attorney General's office and is the date that they provide the summary to the sponsor. Each initiative then has a circulation deadline that is 150 days after its summary date, while proposed veto referendums have a circulation deadline that is 90 days after the legislation targeted by the referendum was signed by the Governor of California.
|Type||Identifying #||Proponent||Received by AG||Title expected||Working title|
|#12-0008||Thomas W. Hiltachk||March 14||May 3||"Government Employee Pension Reform Act"|
|CISS||#12-0010||LaMalfa, Radanovich||March 20||May 10||"Stop the Bullet Train to Nowhere"|
|CISS||#12-0011||Jesse Lucas||March 26||May 16||"College and University Funding and Accountability Act"|
|#12-0012||Jo Shaffer||April 10||May 30||Property Taxation Initiative|
Cleared for circulation
- See also: Potential 2012 ballot measures
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 than have 150 days from the date that the title and summary were prepared to collect and submit to election officials the required signatures. Many times, initiative sponsors submit more than one version of a proposed initiative to the Attorney General's office. When this happens, a circulation deadline for an earlier version may elapse with no signatures having been submitted, but the general idea of that initiative is still in play because its sponsors have instead set their sights on circulating a version that filed later on that has, or will have, a later circulation deadline.
- See also: California signature requirements
The signature deadlines for the approved-for-circulation initiatives below (see right-most column) are based on when the Attorney General of California provided a ballot title and summary for the proposal. In order to qualify for the November 6, 2012 ballot, initiative sponsors would have had to file their signatures by March 2, 2012 (if a full check of all signatures was required) or by April 20, 2012 (if so many signatures were filed that the random sampling system can be used).
See, however, Is April 20 the real signature deadline in California? Based on the fact that five major proposed initiatives filed their signatures between May 1 and May 15, 2012, it seems likely that initiative sponsors actually had about three weeks to submit their signatures past the deadline that had earlier been announced by the California Secretary of State. (Sponsors of a sixth initiative filed their signatures on May 18).
Note: The initiatives listed below did not file signatures in time to qualify for the November 6, 2012 ballot. If they file within their alloted 150-day deadline, however, they can still qualify for the state's 2014 ballot.
|#12-0003||"Corporations Are Not People"||August 13, 2012|
|CISS||#12-0004||"Stop the $100 Billion Bullet Train to Nowhere"||August 13, 2012|
|#12-0007||"Government Spending Limit" Initiative||August 13, 2012|
|CISS||#12-0005||Medical Marijuana Patient Access and Associations||August 16, 2012|
|#12-0002||Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Vets||August 20, 2012|
|#12-0006||"Public Postsecondary Student Tuition and Fees"||September 6, 2012|
As of April 24, 2012, one initiative is at the stage where signatures have been submitted to election officials but have not yet been verified.
|CISS||#11-0059||Law enforcement||Prohibition on Human Trafficking||Pending|
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.
Local ballot measures
- See also: Local ballot measure elections in 2012
- Ballot titles, summaries and fiscal statements for California 2012 ballot propositions
- 2012 ballot measures
- ↑ 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