There are quite a few initiatives currently circulating that would have an interesting or notable impact on politicians and the Legislature in particular. We thought we’d give you a little rundown on what’s on the table so far:
1.) There are a lot of different efforts that are targeting the Legislature’s full-time status, as many Republicans and various groups want to see the Legislature move to part-time status. Getting to specifics, Republican Assemblywoman Shannon Grove of Bakersfield, and Ted Costa of People's Advocate have introduced a ballot proposal that would make the Legislature a part-time body and cut legislators' salaries from $7,940 per month to $1,500 per month. In addition, other Republicans have suggested they will try and push legislation that would change the body to part-time status. It will be an uphill climb, as the state has had a full-time Legislature for more than four decades. See more about the efforts that are focused on this issue here.
2.) Next up is a rather unique initiative proposal that has been cleared for circulation. We’ll let the official title and summary speak for itself:
EQUAL MALE/FEMALE MEMBERSHIP OF LEGISLATURE. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Requires that each Assembly district and each Senate district have two elected representatives, one male and one female, doubling the number of state legislators. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potential increase in county election costs in the range of millions of dollars every two years.
The proposal will require 807,615 signatures for qualification.
3.) Thirdly, another initiative proposes that the Legislature should expand. Here is the official ballot title and summary:
LEGISLATURE EXPANSION. LEGISLATIVE PROCESS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Increases size of Legislature almost 100-fold by dividing current Assembly and Senate districts into neighborhood districts such that each Assemblymember represents about 5,000 persons and each Senator represents about 10,000 persons. Provides for neighborhood district representatives to elect working committees the size of the current Assembly and Senate, 80 Assemblymembers and 40 Senators. Gives working committees the legislative power generally, and sole power to amend bills, but requires approval by appropriate vote of the full membership in each house for passage of any non-urgency bill. Reduces legislators’ pay and expenditures. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Decreased state spending on the Legislature of over $180 million annually. Increased county election costs, potentially in the range of tens of millions of dollars initially and lower amounts annually thereafter.
4.) Finally, another initiative proposal is targeting local government officials and the benefits they receive. The measure would eliminate benefits for part-time officials so that they could not receive pension, retirement, health insurance and other benefits. Peter Foy is the proponent and he is a supervisor in Ventura County. The official title and summary are as follows:
ELIMINATION OF BENEFITS FOR PART-TIME LOCAL OFFICIALS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Prohibits part-time elected or appointed officials of local governments or special districts from receiving pension, retirement, health insurance and other benefits. Limits compensation of part-time local officials to salary, stipend or per diem payment for attending public meetings. Requires a local entity’s monetary payments to its parttime officials to be posted on the entity’s and State Controller’s websites. Prohibits any elected part-time local official from receiving monetary payment for service on any governmental body other than the one to which he or she was elected. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Unknown reductions in local official compensation costs, potentially in the range of tens of millions of dollars annually.
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