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Wacky or worthwhile petitions?  You decide

By Miriam Raftery

July 21, 2018 (Sacramento) – California’s Supreme Court has blocked a controversial initiative from appearing on the November ballot, pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. That measure sought to split California into three states. However, 11 other initiatives have been approved by the state’s Attorney General for circulation to collect signatures.   

Before you sign any petitions, read below for summaries, or click the link below this story for full details on these proposed initiatives ranging from practical to bizarre.

One proposed ballot initiative seeks to make California a separate nation. If passed, the Legislature would be required to declare independence from the United States, but there’s no Constitutional provision allowing a state to secede – and secession efforts by southern states are what led to the Civil War.  Any attempt to secede would likely require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which takes approval of both houses of Congress and ratification by two thirds of all the states.

Another initiative proposal would ban local governments or special districts from spending bond money on anything not in the bond measure. 

Another would provide cage-free space for egg-laying hens by 2024 and larger enclosures for veal calves and breeding pigs.

A criminal justice measure would revise the three strikes law so that only violent felonies and serious sex or firearm related offenses would result in life sentences, unless an earlier offense was for murder, rape or child molestation.

Yet another proposal would require two-thirds approval of local voters to raise taxes or for governing bodies to raise new fees, and specification on how the new taxes or fees would be spent must be provided. Any new taxes or fees passed this year could be invalidated.

A sweeping measure would eliminate requirements that children be vaccinated to attend public schools. It would also ban genetically modified plants or animals from being released into the environment. It would also ban treatment of water with fluoride or chlorine and increase regulation of projects that create pollution or radiation.

Another initiative would require the top four candidates in Congressional and state offices to advance to the general election after the primary election, regardless of party affiliation. 

In addition, there’s a proposed initiative that would require state and local law enforcement to try and verify immigration status of people arrested and to notify federal and state agencies if arrestees are undocumented. The measure would also ban issuing driver’s licenses or ID card to undocumented immigrants, prohibit automatic voter registration and require an affidavit for voter eligibility. It would also ban local governments from restricting law enforcement’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities, targeting sanctuary laws.

There’s an initiative to increase funding for medical facilities serving low-income and medically under-served communities, and to train healthcare workers.

A parent could demand that a jury, not a judge, decide who should have custody of a child if another ballot initiative is approved.

There’s also a measure to require that certain commercial and industrial property be taxed based on fair-market value, a move that aims to raise funds for schools.  Agricultural property and small businesses would be exempted, along with up to $500,000 of tangible personal property used for business.

View full details on these initiative proposals circulating here:


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