California Proposition 48, Referendum on Indian Gaming Compacts (2014)
|Status:||On the ballot|
If the measure is approved by the state's voters, it will:
- Ratify AB 277 (Ch. 51, Stats. 2013);
- Ratify two gaming compacts between California and, respectively, the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, and the Wiyot Tribe;
- Exempt execution of the compacts, certain projects, and intergovernmental agreements from the California Environmental Quality Act.
This measure is a veto referendum; this means that a "yes" vote is a vote to uphold or ratify the contested legislation (AB 277) that was enacted by the California State Legislature while a "no" vote is a vote to overturn AB 277.
Text of measure
- "A “Yes” vote approves, and a “No” vote rejects, tribal gaming compacts between the state and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and the Wiyot Tribe. Fiscal Impact: One-time payments ($16 million to $35 million) and for 20 years annual payments ($10 million) from Indian tribes to state and local governments to address costs related to the operation of a new casino."
Support for the referendum
- Note: Supporters of the referendum are campaigning for a "no" vote.
The organization leading the campaign in support of the referendum is Stand Up for California.
| Total campaign cash |
as of July 1, 2014
The following are the donors to the campaign fighting against AB 277 and for the referendum as of July 1, 2014:
|Table Mountain Rancheria||$1,528,099|
|Brigade Capital Management, LLC and Affiliated Entities||$1,166,769|
|Riva Ridge Recovery Fund, LLC||$226,232|
|DG Capital Management, LLC and Affiliated Entities||$113,258|
|Chukchansi Economic Development Authority||$25,000|
|Club One Casino, Inc.||$15,000|
- See also: List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2014
In March 2013, the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians filed a lawsuit in the Madera County Superior Court challenging the veto referendum. The petitioners are putting forward two legal arguments against the measure: (1) AB 277 is final because federal law allows tribes to own and operate casinos, as long as state law does not prohibit casino gambling. However, a compact, like AB 277, must be signed by the Governor and approved by the US Secretary of the Interior. Thus, they argue, a ratified compact can not be challenged via veto referendum because the compact has been approved by the federal government pursuant to federal law; (2) A contract between a state and a tribe may not be subject to the initiative and referendum process.
Path to the ballot
- Cheryl Schmit submitted a letter requesting a ballot title on July 9, 2013.
- A ballot title and summary were issued by the Attorney General of California's office on July 19, 2013.
- 504,760 valid signatures were required for qualification purposes.
- The 150-day circulation deadline for #13-0007 was October 1, 2014.
- Those seeking to overturn AB 277 filed 784,572 signatures to qualify the measure by the deadline.
- On November 20, 2013, election officials announced that the measure had received 559,174 valid signatures (a validity rate of 72.43%) versus a requirement of 504,760 signatures, and had therefore qualified for the ballot.
Cost of signatures
The Keep Vegas-Style Casinos Out of Neighborhoods, a Project of Stand Up for California campaign committee paid money to vendors to elect signatures to qualify the referendum for the ballot.
The cumulative expenditure on signatures was $2,030,422.60. This amounted to a per-required-signature cost of $4.02.
$1,882,387.20 went to Arno Political Consultants. $148,035.40 went to The Monaco Group.
- Stand Up California, "Homepage," accessed July 9, 2014
- California Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance: Referendum to Overturn Indian Gaming Compacts," accessed July 1, 2014
- Mondaq, "Tribe Files Suit To Block California Compact Referendum," March 11, 2014
- California Secretary of State, "Referendum to Overturn Indian Gaming Compacts," November 20, 2013