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California State Capitol on March 11, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe).

Bills That Need to Go Before Voters

First, the Legislature must pass the bill and the Governor must sign the bill

By Chris Micheli, March 13, 2022 10:10 am

Even though a statute is created by a bill (or by an initiative measure), the California Legislature in certain instances must place a bill before the voters. According to Elections Code Section 9040:

Every constitutional amendment, bond measure, or other legislative measure submitted to the people by the Legislature shall appear on the ballot of the first statewide election occurring at least 131 days after the adoption of the proposal by the Legislature.

As a result of Section 9040, a bond bill or other bill (e.g., one that proposes to amend an initiative measure enacted by the voters) may have to go before the statewide voters before the bill can take effect. First, the Legislature must pass the bill and the Governor must sign the bill (or allow it to become law without signature). Second, the measure then must go before the voters at a statewide election.

The following example is language in a recently-introduced bill

Section 1 of this act amends Proposition 7, an initiative measure approved by the voters at the November 6, 2018, general election, and shall become effective only when this act is submitted to and approved by the voters. The Secretary of State shall submit Section 1 of this act to the voters at a statewide election in accordance with Section 9040 of the Elections Code.

Pursuant to this language, the bill proposes to amend an existing initiative and so, once enacted, it must actually be put before the voters at a statewide election and the voters must pass it before the bill takes effect.

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2 thoughts on “Bills That Need to Go Before Voters

  1. Putting bills and propositions “before the voters” means absolutely nothing when the average voter (as in; not a Constitutional lawer) cannot understand the bill or the proposition they are supposed to vote on!
    Deceptive wording, “no means yes”, unscrupulous ads from lobbyists that “explain” what the bill or prop will “do”.
    THIS blatant dishonesty is why Californians ended up with Prop 47 – colloquially known as “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act”.
    How can THIS be fixed? How can demand honesty in the way bills and propositions are written?? If (stat from a different article) 82% of public school kids can’t read, how can we possibly expect voters to “inform” themselves, when politicians and special interest groups do everything in their power to keep us ignorant??

  2. Because these Democrats in our legislature are so money hungry, and dishonest, we need to vote them out of office. Tax and spend is the way that the work. These people in Sacramento, pass bills for the crooks and don’t care about the voters. Vote your local Democratic out of office in November. Keep Calif safe.

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