Bill Text: CA SB869 | 2017-2018 | Regular Session | Chaptered


Bill Title: County of San Diego: local elections.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (? 1-0)

Status: (Passed) 2018-09-17 - Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 451, Statutes of 2018. [SB869 Detail]

Download: California-2017-SB869-Chaptered.html

Senate Bill No. 869
CHAPTER 451

An act to repeal and add Section 23725 of the Government Code, and to repeal Section 46 of Chapter 53 of the Statutes of 2018, relating to elections, making an appropriation therefor, to take effect immediately, bill related to the budget.

[ Approved by Governor  September 17, 2018. Filed with Secretary of State  September 17, 2018. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 869, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review. County of San Diego: local elections.
Existing law requires that an amendment to the charter of the County of San Diego to require that candidates for county office be elected at the general election be made by a proposal submitted by the governing body or by a petition signed by 10% of the qualified electors of the county, computed upon the total number of votes cast in the county for all candidates for Governor at the last general election at which a Governor was elected, as specified. Existing law applies these provision retroactively, commencing January 1, 2018, and requires the elections official to examine or reexamine whether the number of valid signatures filed by the proponents is sufficient to qualify a measure for the ballot pursuant to these provisions, to the extent that petition signatures for an initiative measure proposing an amendment to the charter of the County of San Diego have been submitted prior to the effective date of this act.
This bill would repeal and reenact those provisions for a specified reason. This bill would, for an amendment to the charter of the County of San Diego to require that candidates for county office be elected at the general election and to make conforming changes to election procedures to implement the charter amendment, require that the calculation of the 10% of qualified electors in the county be computed upon the total number of votes cast in the county for all candidates for Governor at the last general election at which a Governor was elected, as specified. This bill would apply these provision retroactively, commencing January 1, 2018, and would require the elections official to examine or reexamine whether the number of valid signatures filed by the proponents is sufficient to qualify a measure for the ballot pursuant to these provisions, to the extent that petition signatures for an initiative measure proposing an amendment to the charter of the County of San Diego have been submitted prior to the effective date of this act. By imposing additional duties on the local elections official, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the County of San Diego.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
This bill would appropriate $1,000,000 from the Federal Trust Fund, a continuously appropriated fund, to the Secretary of State to secure and improve county election systems. The bill would provide that this appropriation may be adjusted upon receipt of a request, submitted on or before June 30, 2019, to increase related Federal Trust Fund expenditure authority from the Secretary of State, and subsequent approval by the Director of Finance.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as a bill providing for appropriations related to the Budget Bill.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Assembly Bill 901 of the 2017–18 Regular Session (Chapter 28 of the Statutes of 2017), which took effect on October 12, 2017, authorized an amendment to the charter of the County of San Diego, subject to approval by county voters, to require that candidates for specified county offices be elected at the general election. Assembly Bill 901 contained a legislative drafting error that created confusion about the number of signatures required to qualify an initiative charter amendment that was authorized by the bill.
(b) Senate Bill 866 of the 2017–18 Regular Session (Chapter 53 of the Statutes of 2018), which took effect on June 27, 2018, is a bill providing for appropriations related to the budget bill. Among other statutory changes, Senate Bill 866 revised Section 23725 of the Government Code to clarify that the number of signatures required to qualify an initiative charter amendment authorized by Assembly Bill 901 was the same as for other charter amendments.
(c) On July 18, 2018, Luis Vargas and Tony Krvaric filed an Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandate and Writ of Prohibition, and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief in the San Diego Superior Court asking the court to restrain the San Diego County Registrar of Voters from enforcing or applying the provisions of Senate Bill 866, and asserting that the bill violates the single subject rule in Section 9 of Article IV of the California Constitution which states “[a] statute shall embrace but one subject, which shall be expressed in its title.”
(d) To eliminate any question as to whether the changes made by Senate Bill 866 were enacted in violation of the single subject rule, it is the intent of the Legislature to repeal those provisions relating to charter amendments and to reenact them in this act, which embraces only the subject of elections, and to make other changes to Section 23725 necessary to effectuate the Legislature’s intent in passing Assembly Bill 901.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares that the changes made to Section 23725 of the Government Code as added by Section 4 of this act shall apply retroactively to any initiative charter amendment authorized by that section for which proponents submitted petition signatures to the county elections official on or after January 1, 2018. To the extent petition signatures for an initiative measure proposing an amendment to the charter of the County of San Diego pursuant to Section 23725 of the Government Code are submitted to the county elections official before this act becomes law, the elections official shall examine or reexamine whether the number of valid signatures filed by the proponents is sufficient to qualify the measure for the ballot pursuant to this act.

SEC. 3.

 Section 23725 of the Government Code is repealed.

SEC. 4.

 Section 23725 is added to the Government Code, to read:

23725.
 (a) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the charter of the County of San Diego may be amended as provided in Section 23720 to require that candidates for county office be elected at the general election and to make conforming changes to election procedures to implement the charter amendment, including allowing the County of San Diego to establish rules governing qualification and filing dates for write-in candidates. Only the candidates who receive the highest or second highest number of votes cast at the primary election shall appear on the ballot as candidates for county office at the ensuing general election. In the event there are two or less candidates for county office, the names of the candidates shall not appear on the primary election ballot and the candidate for county office with the highest number of votes cast shall be elected at the general election.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 23722, when an elections official has determined that a petition for an initiative charter amendment authorized by this section has been signed by 10 percent of the qualified electors of the county, computed upon the total number of votes cast in the county for all candidates for Governor at the last general election at which a Governor was elected, the elections official shall submit the measure to the voters of the county at the next general election occurring not less than 88 days from the date of the elections official’s determination. The elections official may set forth a public examination period that is less than 10 calendar days if the elections official determines that an abbreviated examination period is necessary, or that time does not permit a public examination period, to ensure the timely printing of ballots or is otherwise necessary for the efficient administration of elections.
(c) For purposes of this section, “county office” means any of the following offices:
(1) County supervisor.
(2) District attorney.
(3) Sheriff.
(4) Assessor, recorder, and county clerk.
(5) Treasurer and tax collector.
(6) Member of the county board of education.
(d) The amendments made by the act adding this section shall be effective on and after January 1, 2018.

SEC. 5.

 Section 46 of Chapter 53 of the Statutes of 2018 is repealed.

SEC. 6.

 The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the unique issues facing the County of San Diego due to its size and the complexity of its government.

SEC. 7.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

SEC. 8.

 One million dollars ($1,000,000) is hereby appropriated from the Federal Trust Fund to the Secretary of State to secure and improve county election systems. This appropriation may be adjusted upon receipt of a request to increase related Federal Trust Fund expenditure authority from the Secretary of State, and subsequent approval by the Director of Finance. The Secretary of State shall submit the request by June 30, 2019.

SEC. 9.

 This act is a bill providing for appropriations related to the Budget Bill within the meaning of subdivision (e) of Section 12 of Article IV of the California Constitution, has been identified as related to the budget in the Budget Bill, and shall take effect immediately.