On August 28th, the California Supreme Court ruled that local tax initiatives brought by citizens can be placed on a special election ballot. They differ from measures placed on the ballot by local governments, which can only place tax measures on a general election ballot.
Miller & Olson LLP is pleased to announce for the second year in a row, Partner Rebecca J. Olson has been selected to the 2016 Northern California Rising Stars list. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.
According to the Los Angeles Times, as part of the budget deal expected to be passed by the end of this week, California will create a new category to describe voters, in addition to the eight existing options that exist, including Libertarian, the state’s American Independent Party and No Party Preference.
The new category will label voters as having an “Unknown” party preference and would apply mostly to voters registering at the Department of Motor Vehicles, where a new voter registration process recently was implemented. You can read the story here.
Today is the last day to register to vote in California for the June 7th Primary election. It is also the last day to update your information if you are already registered (address, party registration). Make sure you’re eligible to vote on Election Day!
To register or update your information online, click here.
The cost of special elections to fill vacant legislative seats in California in terms of dollars can be substantial, and the turnout can be significantly lower than in a regular general election. Laurel Rosenhall has a great story in CalMatters.
The San Jose City Council passed a number of changes to their campaign finance ordinance last week. The voluntary expenditure limit was eliminated, simplified the $250 late contribution report in the last days before the election and removed disclaimer requirements for printed materials besides mailers. You can read the details Campaign Finance Changes in San Jose.
There are currently four statewide measures that have qualified for the ballot, including a referendum on the statewide plastic bag ban passed by lawmakers last year, a reversal of 1998’s Proposition 227 restricting bilingual education in public schools, a measure to protect a multibillion-dollar federal revenue stream for California hospitals from legislative interference, and a $9 billion school bond.
There are 37 other proposals cleared for circulation, including legalization of marijuana, a $9 billion school bond, raising of the minimum wage and a campaign finance disclosure measure. You can read the details in the Sacramento Beehere.
A new effort, funded by Jim Heerwagen, a Los Gatos software entrepreneur, proposes a state constitutional amendment to add the right to campaign finance disclosure, along with some other changes, including an overhaul to the Secretary of State’s electronic filing system. You can read more about the details here.
“Sate lawmakers on Monday voted to increase the cost of filing a proposed ballot initiative in California from $200 to $2,000, in response to a failed bid for an anti-gay measure to appear before voters next year.” Supporters say it will help weed out those filers who are not serious about mounting an actual campaign, but opponents feel it puts a burden on political expression. Governor Brown has not indicated whether or not he will sign the measure if it passes the Assembly.