Ballot Measures

News & Analysis as of

Public Officials and Agencies: To Campaign or Not to Campaign?

California law allows public agencies to expend public money and resources to educate voters on matters included on an upcoming election ballot. State law does not permit using public money or resources to advocate on behalf...more

SB 1272 (NKA Proposition 49) – The Secretary of State

Last week, I wrote that Governor Brown had allowed SB 1272 to become law without his signature. To say that SB 1272 became law is an hyperbole because, as Governor Brown observed, the bill “has no legal effect whatsoever”. ...more

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Initiative Disclosure Requirement

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision with significant implications for local and statewide ballot initiative processes. In Chula Vista Citizens v. Norris, the court upheld a Chula Vista Municipal Code...more

Recent Fair Campaign Practices Act Developments

Two recent administrative law judge decisions reflect that a Colorado government may violate the Fair Campaign Practices Act ('FCPA") prohibition on spending public funds to urge voters to vote for or against a ballot...more

$15 Minimum Wage in Chicago on March Ballot

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners recently confirmed that in March of 2014 some Chicago residents will vote on a nonbinding ballot referendum on the following question: “Shall the city of Chicago require a minimum...more

More GMO Labeling Ballot Initiatives Coming in November; Federal Labeling Initiatives in Congress

Despite losses in California and Washington, groups in favor of labeling food containing or consisting of genetically modified organisms (“GMO”) continue legislative efforts at the state and national level. Oregon and...more

Ninth Circuit: City Requirement That Cell-Tower Company Obtain Voter Approval Upheld

When T-Mobile sought to place a cell-tower in a park owned by the City of Huntington Beach, California, the City granted the company all the regulatory approvals it required. But the City also informed T-Mobile that before...more

New Jersey Voters Raise State Minimum Wage

On November 5, 2013, New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved (by a 3 to 2 margin) a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage, starting on January 1, 2014, from $7.25 to $8.25 per hour. The amendment also...more

New Jersey Voters Approve Minimum Wage Increase

On November 5, 2013, New Jersey residents voted to approve an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution that will result in a $1.00 increase in the state's minimum wage rate. As of January 1, 2014, New Jersey's minimum wage...more

Washington State GMO Labeling Initiative Defeated; Kaua’i Anti-GMO Law Vetoed; Big Island Anti-GMO Bill Pending

Washington voters rejected Initiative 522 at the polls by a considerable margin this past Tuesday. Initiative 522, a right-to-know law styled similarly to California’s Proposition 37 that was defeated last year, would have...more

New Jersey Voters Approve Minimum Wage Hike; Rate To Increase To $8.25 With Future Increases Tied To Cost Of Living

New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved a measure that will increase the state's minimum wage rate from $7.25 to $8.25, effective January 2014. The measure also included a constitutional amendment that will tie the minimum...more

Court Holds Groundwater Augmentation Charge is Not Subject to Voter Approval Requirements of Proposition 218

Notice of a Public Hearing for a Property-related Fee or Charge Must Only be Mailed to the Record Owners of Each Affected Parcel - A California court of appeal recently held that a groundwater management agency’s...more

California Approves Petition for Personal Privacy Ballot Initiative

Recently, the California Secretary of State announced that the proponents of a new initiative regarding personally identifying information (PII) may begin collecting petition signatures for their proposed ballot measure....more

Sponsors Drop California Ballot Initiative Intended to Transform Privacy Class Actions

Recent reports have circulated regarding a California ballot initiative that, if successful, might have marked the second time California would have caused a national shift in privacy law. Just 10 years ago, California...more

New California Law Establishes Additional Requirements for Conducting Elections Involving Stormwater and Flood Control Service...

Public Agencies Must Adhere to New Steps By Next Summer - Public agencies that handle water, sewer, and solid waste services in California are required to comply with certain mailed notice and majority protest public...more

The Supreme Court’s 2013-2014 Term

The Supreme Court’s 2013-2014 term opened yesterday. In this term, the Court will hear and decide a number of cases affecting employers, including two key cases focusing on labor-management relations. ...more

Opening the Flood Gates? California Voters May Create Presumption of Harm in Privacy Breach Cases

California has moved one step closer towards amending its Constitution to create a presumption of harm whenever personal data is shared without a consumer’s express opt-in, a change that would clear a significant hurdle to...more

California Judiciary, not Governor, Leading Effort to Reign in Proposition 65 Abuse

Earlier this year, we reported on California Governor Edmund Brown's call for reform of the state's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 – better known as Proposition 65, the number of the ballot initiative...more

2013 Legislature Adopts Important Amendments to Minnesota Campaign Finance Laws

During the 2013 session, the Minnesota Legislature adopted important changes to Minnesota’s campaign finance laws. These laws will go into effect on August 1, 2013. ...more

Broomfield Joins The Growing List of Colorado Cities That Will Have Fracking Bans On Ballots This Fall

The Broomfield City and County Clerk’s office has determined that enough signatures have been collected to put a five-year fracking ban on the November ballot in the City and County of Broomfield....more

Court Rules Voter Initiative Cannot Force Water District to Set Rates Below Level Mandated by State Statute - Water Districts Must...

In Mission Springs Water District v. Verjil, a California appellate court invalidated voter initiatives that had proposed to reduce a water district’s recently adopted rate increases and limit the amount the district could...more

Will California Voters Move US to Opt-In?

The California ballot measure process permits any California voter to propose a ballot initiative to the state’s Attorney General which, if enough signatures are gathered, will then appear on state-wide ballot for approval at...more

Attack of the Killer Initiative?: Opt-in Privacy Regime on Deck for a California Ballot Initiative

On July 17th, former California State Senator Steve Peace (director of the film, “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”) and trial lawyer Michael Thorsnes filed a potentially revolutionary draft ballot initiative with the California...more

Bright Lights Not a Significant Impact; Lack of Parking May Be

In Taxpayers for Accountable School Bond Spending v. San Diego Unified School District (2013) __ Cal.App.4th __ (Case No. D060999) the Court of Appeal for the 4th District held that the San Diego Unified School District (the...more

Texas Adds Reverse Mortgage Constitutional Amendment To November Ballots

On May 22, the Texas legislature adopted a joint resolution, SJR 18, to propose an amendment to the Texas Constitution to allow a reverse mortgage for the purchase of a homestead property....more

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