California 2012 ballot propositions
Altogether, thirteen statewide ballot propositions will be on the 2012 ballot in California. Eleven are on the November 6, 2012 ballot and two were on the June 5, 2012 ballot.
2012 will be yet another very high-stakes, high-drama ballot proposition year in California. The 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 will appear on the ballot. A "trailer bill" appended to the 2012 budget and signed by Jerry Brown requires that all proposed constitutional amendments appear at the top of part 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 Hike, which is a proposed constitutional amendment, over Molly Munger's Tax Hike, which is a proposed statute. Munger went into court to resist this change from the traditional ordering and on Friday, June 29, judge Timothy Frawley issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) forbidding Debra Bowen from assigning ballot numbers based on the new ballot-numbering system. Ultimately, however, the judge ruled that Brown's change could proceed.
Note: California's 3rd District Court of Appeals is considering a lawsuit filed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association that challenges the order in which the propositions were numbered by California's Secretary of State Debra Bowen. The day after Bowen assigned the numbers, the court said they wanted to hear a justification from Bowen by July 30 about the way she numbered the propositions. This situation means that the order (and numbers) of the state's November propositions might still change. In the argument she filed with the court by the July 30 deadline, Debra Bowen "offered no legal arguments defending" the ballot re-ordering and instead argued that too many logistical problems would result from having to change the order again.
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.
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|
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."
Circulating (Eligible for 2014)
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|
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 • November 6
- Ballot titles, summaries and fiscal statements for California 2012 ballot propositions
- 2012 ballot measures
- ↑ The count of 13 does not include the Water Bond Measure. The state legislature voted to remove it from the ballot on June 5, 2012. The bill to remove it awaits the signature of Jerry Brown. It is considered to be a sure bet that he will sign the removal bill.
- ↑ 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
- ↑ Sacramento Bee, "California appeals court to review ballot change that put Jerry Brown's measure on top", July 11, 2012
- ↑ Sacramento Bee, "California officials: Too late to renumber ballot initiatives", August 1, 2012
- ↑ Prop Zero, "California Gives Up on Presidential Election Clout", July 29, 2011
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Prop Zero, "Is November's a Historic Ballot?", July 9, 2012
- ↑ 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