Last week I had the honor of giving input to some bills proposed by the Simi Valley Youth in Government group. For those of you not familiar with them it is basically a debate group that draws up proposals for legislation and then takes them to Sacramento for a meeting with other groups from across the state.
The proposals were judged on their merits, arguments, and ability to inspire debate. This year the bills included:
1. Teacher tenure rules reform ( I supported this bill ).
2. Mandatory commercial and industrial recycling.
3. Banning California dairies from using rGBH.
4. Changing the initiative process.
I sat next to State Assembly Member Audra Strickland who also volunteered her time to give input to the high school students as they prepare their legislation. I was surprised she was able to fit this event into her schedule and I know the participants were thankful for her help. The young people involved in this program are inspirational and I expect many of them to continue to make our community proud in the years ahead.
At the end of the night the proposal to change the initiative process in California won. This is where my readers can get involved.
They need to prepare their final arguments by next Tuesday. If you click on continue reading you can see the text of their bill. The Simi Valley Youth and Government group would appreciate it if you posted feedback to their bill that they can use to anticipate the talking points they will likely confront. Your critical feedback as to the wording, the merits of the proposal, or arguments against it would be very much appreciated.
It would be a personal favor if you can help them. Let's bring victory home to Ventura County!
Click here for my blog entry from last year's bill hearing night.
November 19, 2009
******** Constitutional Amendment No. *** - A resolution to propose to the people of the State of California an amendment to Article 2 Section 10 of the state constitution, relating to the ballot initiative process.
Following approval by the electorate, a supermajority vote will be required to pass initiative measures, the legislature will be able to amend or repeal initiative statutes without a vote of the electorate, and initiative measures will be screened by the Legislative Counsel to ensure that they designate adequate sources of funding.
Article 2 Section 10 of the California Constitution is amended to read:
SEC. 10. (a) An initiative statute or referendum approved by a
majority the required proportion of votes thereon takes effect the day after
the election unless the measure provides otherwise. Referendums
require a majority of votes, initiative statutes require three-fifths
of votes, and initiative amendments to the constitution require two-thirds
of votes. If a referendum petition is filed against a part of a statute the
remainder shall not be delayed from going into effect.
(b) If provisions of 2 or more measures approved at the same
election conflict, those of the measure receiving the highest
affirmative vote shall prevail.
(c) The Legislature may amend or repeal referendum statutes. It
may amend or repeal an initiative statute by another statute that
becomes effective only when approved by a majority of the electors unless
the initiative statute permits amendment or repeal without their approval.
If a statute that amends or repeals an initiative statute is passed with a
three-fifths vote of both houses of the legislature, it does not need to be
submitted to electors for approval. Instead, the text and a summary of
the changes must be published in at least three major state newspapers.
(d) Prior to circulation of an initiative or referendum petition
for signatures, a copy copies shall be submitted to the Attorney General
who and the Legislative Counsel. The Attorney General shall prepare
a title and summary of the measure as provided by law, and the
Legislative Counsel shall determine if the measure designates adequate
sources of funding. If the measure is lacking an adequate source of
funding, the Legislative Counsel shall return the measure to the author
with comments for revision before circulation of a petition on
the measure is permitted.
(e) The Legislature shall provide the manner in which petitions
shall be circulated, presented, and certified, and measures submitted
to the electors.