California Grassroots Initiative Reform Act (2010)

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A California Grassroots Initiative Reform Act (09-0038, Amdt. #2S) did not qualify for the November 2, 2010 ballot in California as an initiated constitutional amendment.

On September 20, 2009, Aaron Starr filed a request with the Office of the California Attorney General for an official ballot title on an act that he is calling the "Grassroots Initiative Reform Act." A revised request was submitted in October.

The petition has been cleared for circulation with a deadline of April 29, 2010.

The goal of the proposed act is to to amend the California Constitution in ways that re-structure the laws governing the initiative process in California.

Proposed changes

If this measure succeeds, it will:

  • Allow the California Legislative Analyst's Office to assist initiative proponents with drafting the language of proposed propositions.
  • Require additional campaign finance reporting.
  • Increase the number of days allowed for collecting signatures from 150 days to 365 days.
  • Make it easier to challenge laws passed by the California State Legislature through the veto referendum process.
  • Require that laws that are the subject of a veto referendum signature-gathering process be stayed.
  • Simplify the state's petition form
  • Make petitions available online.
  • Require initiative sponsors to report their signature counts on an ongoing basis to the government.


Ballot title: Changes Laws Governing Ballot Measures. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Official summary: Changes the process which governs how initiative and referendum measures qualify for placement on the ballot. Requires the State to provide legal services to help proponents draft ballot measures. Requires proponents of measures to disclose the identity of large financial donors. Allows proponents of measures more time to gather voter signatures necessary to qualify measures for placement on the ballot. Permits urgency and tax levy statutes passed by Legislature to be challenged by voter referendum. Prohibits Legislature from amending or repealing laws passed by voter referendum.

Estimated fiscal impact: Unknown effects on state and local finances, subject to future decisions by voters, the Legislature, and the Governor, if the measure results in more initiative and referendum measures qualifying for the statewide ballot. Higher state costs potentially totaling in the millions of dollars per year to meet the measure’s requirements. The measure also could result in increased petition filing fees paid to the state and possible county government savings.

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