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Initiative to Rewrite the Entire State Constitution Takes a Step Forward

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In the latest status update on ballot propositions from the California Secretary of State, an interesting and game-changing one was cleared for its signature gathering stage earlier this week. If approved by the voters, here's what it would do the state constitution:

  • Reduces legislative approval requirement for State budget from two-thirds to a simple majority
  • Increases the budget cycle from one to two years
  • Sets State income tax rate at 5% plus an additional 1% for incomes over $100,000 and an additional 1.5% for incomes over $1,000,000
  • Eliminates State Lottery
  • Increases voter-approval requirement for initiatives
  • Increases the number of terms elected officials can serve in the Legislature

In a summary estimate of the fiscal impact on state and local government, the state's Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance say the measure "likely would result in a substantial net change in state or local finances if adopted." And how. You can read the full text of the proposal here (.pdf). 694,354 will be required before it can appear on a ballot.

Also in the Secretary of State's update were three initiatives that failed to qualify for a ballot: one of the marijuana legalization initiatives (don't worry, there's another one in its collecting signature phase), a wealth tax that would impose a one-time tax on the rich and a business finances one. One dealing with pension recovery was introduced.