Two referenda have qualified and will be on the ballot; four other measures have qualified but can be withdrawn
By Chris Micheli, California Globe, 3/1/23
It might feel like we just finished the November general election, where 20 State Senate seats, 80 State Assembly seats, 9 constitutional offices, and 52 U.S. House seats, among others, were voted on by the California electorate. There were also 7 ballot measures for statewide voters. Despite this, 2024 brings us a presidential election, which means California’s primary election is moved up from June to March.
And, that means ballot measures, both local and state, will be eligible to be voted on by the state’s electorate. March 5, 2024 will be the primary election, and only the Legislature can place measures on that ballot. November 5, 2024 will be the general election, and the People and the Legislature can place measures on that ballot.
For the March 5 primary election, voters will see SCA 2 (Allen), related to public housing projects. According to the Office of Legislative Counsel, the California Constitution prohibits the development, construction, or acquisition of a low-rent housing project, as defined, in any manner by any state public body until a majority of the qualified electors of the city, town, or county in which the development, construction, or acquisition of the low-rent housing project is proposed approve the project by voting in favor at an election. SCA 2 would repeal these provisions.
For the November 5 general election, according to the California Secretary of State’s Office, the statewide electorate could vote on the following measures:
REFERENDUM CHALLENGING 2022 LAW AUTHORIZING CREATION OF COUNCIL TO SET MINIMUM WAGE AND WORKING STANDARDS FOR FAST-FOOD WORKERS.
REFERENDUM CHALLENGING 2022 LAW PROHIBITING NEW OIL AND GAS WELLS NEAR HOMES, SCHOOLS, AND HOSPITALS.
PROVIDES FUNDING FOR PANDEMIC DETECTION AND PREVENTION BY INCREASING TAX ON PERSONAL INCOME OVER $5 MILLION. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE. Increased state tax revenues that likely would range from around $500 million to $1.5 billion annually for the ten-year period the new tax would be in effect. Revenues entirely would support activities related to infectious disease control and pandemic prevention. (21-0022A1.)
ELIMINATES EMPLOYEES’ ABILITY TO FILE LAWSUITS FOR MONETARY PENALTIES FOR STATE LABOR-LAW VIOLATIONS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Likely increase in state costs to enforce labor laws that could exceed $100 million per year. Reduction in state penalty revenue used for labor law enforcement in the tens of millions of dollars annually. (21-0027A1.)
LIMITS ABILITY OF VOTERS AND STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO RAISE REVENUES FOR GOVERNMENT SERVICES. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Lower annual state and local revenues, potentially substantially lower, depending on future actions of the Legislature, local governing bodies, voters, and the courts. (21-0042A1)
RAISES MINIMUM WAGE. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Unclear change in annual state and local tax revenues, likely between a loss of a couple billion dollars and a gain of a few hundred million dollars. Increase in annual state and local government costs likely between half a billion dollars and a few billion dollars. (21-0043A1.)
The two referenda have qualified and will be on the ballot. The four other measures have qualified, but they can be withdrawn prior to the end of June 2024. And, of course, numerous other measures could qualify for the ballot, either through an initiative or by the Legislature placing a measure there. Stay tuned as 2024 could be another big year with statewide ballot measures.
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