California Proposition 1A, the "Constitutional Revision Amendment" (1966)
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California Proposition 1A was on the November 8, 1966 ballot in California as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. It contained so many changes that it was known as the "Constitutional Revision Amendment."
The official ballot summary said, "Repeals, amends, and revises various provisions of Constitution relating to separation of powers, and to the legislative, executive, and judicial departments; provides for annual general legislative sessions; provides compensation of members of Legislature shall be prescribed by statute passed by two-thirds vote, and limits rate of annual future adjustments; Legislature must enact laws prohibiting members from engaging in conflicting activities. Signatures necessary on petition for initiative statute reduced from 8% to 5%; eliminates initiatives to Legislature. Legislature shall provide for succession to the office of Governor in event of disability or vacancy."
An analysis of Proposition 1A prepared by the California Legislative Analyst's Office noted that Proposition 1A proposed revisions to parts of the California Constitution dealing with "the separation of powers and with the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of state government." The LAO elaborated on the major changes by branch of government.
- Under Proposition 1A, the Legislature would meet in annual general sessions, unlimited as to duration and unlimited as to subjects that could be considered. This is in contrast to the situation at the time of the vote, when the legislature met in general session, at which all subjects can be considered, in odd-numbered years. It met in budget sessions, at which only fiscal matters could be considered, in even-numbered years. Both sessions were of limited duration.
- Salaries and the expenses of legislators would be set by statute passed by a two-thirds vote in each house, rather than by the Constitution, provided: (a) beginning in 1967, an increase in salary could not exceed 5 percent for each year following the last adjustment; and (b) an increase could not apply until the commencement of the regular session following the next general election after enactment of the increase. Any increase in the legislator's salary over the present $500 per month could not be used in computing the retirement allowance of a member unless he receives the greater amount while serving as a Member of the Legislature.
- The Legislature would be required to enact conflict of interest legislation applicable to legislators.
- Impeachment proceedings would be extended to cover additional elective officers of the state.
- The number of signatures needed for an initiative petition for enactment of a statute is reduced from 8% to 5% of the votes cast at the last election for Governor. The signature requirement for an initiated constitutional amendment stayed the same.
- Prop 1A abolished what had been an indirect initiative system.
- The age requirement for the office of Governor would be lowered to 21 years.
- The measure would make various technical changes in the pardoning and clemency powers of the Governor.
- Provisions setting minimums for statutory salaries of certain elective state officers would be deleted.
- Provision would be made for determining questions of succession to the governorship and temporary disability of Governor.
- The Legislature could authorize certain executive reorganizations.
- When authorized by law a judge would be permitted, on agreement of the counties, to serve the superior courts of two or more counties.
- The experience required for judges of superior and higher courts would be increased.
- The Legislature could provide that the names of unopposed incumbent judges need not be placed on the ballot for any trial court in the state, rather than only for superior courts in counties of 700,000 population or more.
- The automatic suspension of judges charged with a felony or recommended for removal by qualifications commission would be required.
- A superior or municipal court judge would be required to take a leave of absence without pay when seeking other public office.