| I • II • III • IV • V • VI|
VII • VIII • IX • X • XA
XB • XI • XII • XIII • XIII A
XIII B • XIII C • XIII D • XIV • XV • XVI • XVIII • XIX • XIX A • XIX B • XIX C
XX • XXI • XXII
XXXIV • XXXV
- 1 Preamble
- 2 Article I
- 3 Article II
- 4 Article III
- 5 Article IV
- 6 Article V
- 7 Article VI
- 8 Article VII
- 9 Article VIII
- 10 Article IX
- 11 Article X
- 12 Article XA
- 13 Article XB
- 14 Article XI
- 15 Article XII
- 16 XIII, XIII A, XIII B, XIII C, XIII D
- 17 Process of amendment
- 18 Constitutional convention advocated
- 19 See also
- 20 External links
- 21 Additional reading
- 22 References
- See also: Preambles to state constitutions
Article I is labeled the "Declaration of Rights." It contains 32 sections. The first section declares: "All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy."
Article II is labeled, "Voting, Initiative and Referendum, and Recall." It has 20 sections, many of which are short and even one-sentence declarations, such as Section 7 which says "Voting shall be secret."
Section 8, Section 10, Section 11 and Section 12 govern ballot initiatives, including defining the signature requirements for initiatives, the single-subject rule, a provision (added in 1998) that says approved initiatives must apply equally to all subdivisions once they take effect, what to do in the case of conflicting initiatives and the California Attorney General's ballot title authorities.
Article III is labeled, "State of California." It has nine sections that lay out some basic, definitional characteristics of how the government of California is organized. It includes provisions on how to sue the state of California. It has been amended over the years to include some very specific provisions such as Section 6, which defines English as the official language of California, and Section 8, which establishes a compensation commission.
Article IV is labeled "Legislative." It has 23 sections.
Section 1.5 makes a strong statement in favor of term limits, saying, "The ability of legislators to serve unlimited number of terms, to establish their own retirement system, and to pay for staff and support services at state expense contribute heavily to the extremely high number of incumbents who are re-elected. These unfair incumbent advantages discourage qualified candidates from seeking public office and create a class of career politicians, instead of the citizen representatives envisioned by the Founding Fathers. These career politicians become representatives of the bureaucracy, rather than of the people whom they are elected to represent."
Article V is labeled "Executive." It has 13 sections, which go from Section 1-Section 14, with no section 12.
Article VII is labeled "Public Officers and Employees." It has eleven sections.
There is no Article VIII.
Article IX is labeled "Education." It is numbered in Sections 1 through Sections 16. Over the years, six sections have been interpolated in the article (2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 6.5 and 7.5), while Sections 4, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 15 have been deleted.
Article X is labeled "Water." It has seven sections.
- Section 1 asserts that the right of eminent domain exists with respect to all frontages on navigable waters in California.
- Section 2 says that the right of access to water in the state is limited to "such water as shall be reasonably required for the beneficial use to be served."
Article XA is labeled "Water Resources Development." It includes eight sections.
Article XI is labeled "Local Government." It has 15 sections, which define the powers and constraints of local governments.
Article XII is labeled "Public Utilities." It has nine sections. These sections define the scope of the state's Public Utilities Commission.
One section (Section 7) notes that transportation companies are not allowed to "grant free passes or discounts" to any public officeholders in the state, other than the members of the Public Utilities Commission.
Article XIII is labeled "Taxation." It is numbered in Sections 1-35, but it consists of 38 sections since three half-sections (3.5, 8.5 and 25.5) have been added over time. Taken together, the 38 sections of Article XIII lay out a number of detailed provisions about what kind of property in California is taxable, along with some property that the Article holds to be exempt from taxation.
Process of amendment
- Main article: Amending state constitutions
The California Constitution can be amended in these ways:
- Through the process of a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. This procedure is defined in Section 1 of Article XVIII of the constitution. According to that section:
- Two-thirds of the membership of each chamber of the California State Legislature must propose an amendment, which then goes on a statewide ballot to be ratified or rejected by the state's voters.
- The state legislature is allowed to propose revisions (not just amendments) to the constitution.
- If measures conflict, and they both get more than 50 percent of the vote, the one with the highest number of votes prevails.
- Ratified amendments take effect the day after the election.
- Through the process of an initiated constitutional amendment, according to Section 3 of Article XVIII and Section 8 of Article II.
- Through the process of a constitutional convention. According to Section 2 of Article XVIII, if two-thirds of the members of each chamber of the state legislature agree, a question as to whether to call a convention or revise the constitution goes on the state's next general election ballot.
Constitutional convention advocated
- See also: California constitutional convention
The hope of those who supported a constitutional convention was that it would "take on the manifold structural problems in California's budget process at a single stroke."
The Bay Area Council was a leading voice in favor of a constitutional convention. The group sponsored several summits and meetings to develop support for a convention. Comments from the summits included: "Drastic times call for drastic measures" and "We believe it is our duty to declare that our California government is not only broken, it has become destructive to our future."
Letters requesting ballot titles for two potential 2010 ballot propositions were filed with the California Attorney General in June 2009. However, in February 2010, supporters announced that a lack of funds had led them to decide to abandon the effort.
- California Electors Right to Call for Constitutional Convention Act (2010)
- California Call for a Limited Constitutional Convention (2010)
- State constitution
- Constitutional article
- Constitutional amendment
- Constitutional revision
- Constitutional convention
- California Constitution
- California Secretary of State, "1849 California Constitution from the California State Archives"
- California Secretary of State, "1878–1879 Constitutional Convention Working Papers"
- The California Constitution Wiki, a wiki project to re-design the state's constitution
- Joseph R. Grodin, Calvin R. Massey, and Richard B. Cunningham (1993), The California State Constitution: A Reference Guide, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.
- Treadwell, Edward (1902). The Constitution of the State of California, San Francisco, California: Bancroft-Whitney.
- California State Legislature, "California Constitution", accessed March 26, 2014
- Grodin, J., Massey, C. & Cunningham, R. (1993). The California State Constitution: A Reference Guide. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press
- IndyBay, "Does California Need a Constitutional Convention?," August 1, 2009
- Los Angeles Times, "Ready for the devil we don't know," accessed August 16, 2009
- Los Angeles Times, "Fixing California: A constitutional convention -- solution or threat?," accessed June 5, 2009
- San Francisco Chronicle, "California government has failed us," accessed August 21, 2009