California Legislature Transparency On Track for November Ballot Qualification
Signature submission to county elections officials has begun – total signatures expected to exceed 930,000
May 5, 2016 – A ballot initiative to reduce special interests’ power over State legislators and improve voters’ ability to participate in the legislative process has cleared a major hurdle this week. Proponents of the California Legislature Transparency Act, a constitutional amendment initiative slated for the November ballot, have begun submitting signatures to various counties and will complete the submission process within a few days.
Over 600,000 signatures (of over 930,000 total gathered) have been submitted thus far, which will trigger the Secretary of State to notify all counties to begin the random sample of signatures. When the remaining counties are submitted, the Hold Politicians Accountable Committee expects to file in excess of 930,000 signatures in all 58 counties, well over the 643,947 signatures required to qualify a constitutional amendment ballot measure on a random sample.
Supported by a growing bipartisan coalition including California Common Cause, California Forward, the California Chamber of Commerce, Californians Aware, the First Amendment Coalition, the Howard Jarvis Tax Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the California Black Chamber of Commerce, among others, the California Legislature Transparency Act would amend California’s Constitution to require all bills to be publicly posted online in their final form at least 72 hours before a vote on the Assembly or Senate floor, require all open legislative meetings to be video recorded and posted online within 24 hours, and guarantee the right of every individual to record and share videos of open legislative meetings.
“We’re grateful for the support our initiative is receiving from the hundreds of thousands of voters who have signed our petitions so far,” said former California State Senator Sam Blakeslee. “Voters are making it clear that they are fed up with special interest legislation being passed in the middle of the night, without time for input or careful consideration of how new laws impact them. We look forward to seeing these common sense reforms become a reality when all Californians have the opportunity to vote for this measure at the polls this November.”
“As longtime advocates of creating more transparency and accountability in our state government, California Forward is pleased that voters will have the opportunity to approve this measure at the polls in November,” said California Forward President, Jim Mayer. “The California Legislature Transparency Act will significantly improve governance in California and go a long way toward reducing the influence of a few special interest groups over legislation that impacts all Californians.”
To learn more about the California Legislature Transparency Act or to join the coalition, visit the website at www.holdpoliticiansaccountable.org.