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The Citizen Stark Page Thom Stark After Hours


Thom Stark Home Page A Season in Methven


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The Citizen Stark Page Thom Stark After Hours


Thom Stark Home Page A Season in Methven


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The Citizen Stark Page Thom Stark After Hours


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DRAFT of The Fairer Voting Act

Proposition xxx: Text of Proposed Law

This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution.

This initiative measure expressly amends the Constitution both by amending existing articles and by adding articles thereto; therefore, the full text of the existing provisions proposed to be amended is printed with the existing language that is to be amended printed in strike-through type and substitute language printed in italic type and new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.

PROPOSED ADDITION OF ARTICLE XVIII B

THE FAIRER VOTING ACT

SECTION 1. TITLE. This act shall be known and may be cited as "The Fairer Voting Act."

SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS. The voters of California hereby find and declare that the requirement of a two-thirds majority vote of the electors for the purpose of authorizing local government entities, including cities, counties, school districts and special districts, to impose or raise local taxes or to issue debt constitutes an unwise and unfair infringement on the rights of the majority of local voters to support and maintain important local government services and properties. The voters also find and declare that protection of the interests of property holders is insufficient justification to maintain such an unfair and unwise super-majority requirement. The voters further find and declare that systematically reducing the threshold for all super-majority votes of the electors from two-thirds of all votes cast to three-fifths of all votes cast will provide adequate protection for the interests of property holders, while permitting a still- substantial majority of local voters to impose on themselves such tax or bonded indebtedness measures as they may deem necessary.

SECTION 3. LIMITATIONS ON ELECTORAL SUPER-MAJORITIES.

Article XVIII B is added to the California Constitution to read:

ARTICLE XVIII B

Section 1. Under no circumstances may any provision of or amendment to this Constitution require more than a three-fifths majority of all votes cast by qualified electors in any election for any purpose.

PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 11 LOCAL GOVERNMENT, SEC. 1. (a)

The State is divided into counties which are legal subdivisions of the State. The Legislature shall prescribe uniform procedure for county formation, consolidation, and boundary change. Formation or consolidation requires approval by a majority of electors voting on the question in each affected county. A boundary change requires approval by the governing body of each affected county. No county seat shall be removed unless two-thirds three-fifths of the qualified electors of the county, voting on the proposition at a general election, shall vote in favor of such removal. A proposition of removal shall not be submitted in the same county more than once in four years.

PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 13A (TAX LIMITATION), Section 1. (b)

The limitation provided for in subdivision (a) shall not apply to ad valorem taxes or special assessments to pay the interest and redemption charges on (1) any indebtedness approved by the voters prior to July 1, 1978, or (2) any bonded indebtedness for the acquisition or improvement of real property approved on or after July 1, 1978, by two-thirds three-fifths of the votes cast by the voters voting on the proposition.

PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 13A (TAX LIMITATION), Section 4.

Cities, Counties and special districts, by a two-thirds three-fifths vote of the qualified electors of such district, may impose special taxes on such district, except ad valorem taxes on real property or a transaction tax or sales tax on the sale of real property within such City, County or special district.

PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 13C (VOTER APPROVAL FOR LOCAL TAX LEVIES), SEC. 2. (d)

No local government may impose, extend, or increase any special tax unless and until that tax is submitted to the electorate and approved by a two-thirds three-fifths vote. A special tax shall not be deemed to have been increased if it is imposed at a rate not higher than the maximum rate so approved.

PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 13D (ASSESSMENT AND PROPERTY-RELATED REFORM), SEC. 3. (2)

Any special tax receiving a two-thirds three-fifths vote pursuant to Section 4 of Article XIIIA.

PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 13D (ASSESSMENT AND PROPERTY-RELATED REFORM), SEC. 4. (g)

Because only special benefits are assessable, electors residing within the district who do not own property within the district shall not be deemed under this Constitution to have been deprived of the right to vote for any assessment. If a court determines that the Constitution of the United States or other federal law requires otherwise, the assessment shall not be imposed unless approved by a two-thirds three-fifths vote of the electorate in the district in addition to being approved by the property owners as required by subdivision (e).

PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 13D (ASSESSMENT AND PROPERTY-RELATED REFORM), SEC. 6. (c)

Voter Approval for New or Increased Fees and Charges. Except for fees or charges for sewer, water, and refuse collection services, no property related fee or charge shall be imposed or increased unless and until that fee or charge is submitted and approved by a majority vote of the property owners of the property subject to the fee or charge or, at the option of the agency, by a two-thirds three-fifths vote of the electorate residing in the affected area. The election shall be conducted not less than 45 days after the public hearing. An agency may adopt procedures similar to those for increases in assessments in the conduct of elections under this subdivision.

PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 16 PUBLIC FINANCE, SEC. 18.

No county, city, town, township, board of education, or school district, shall incur any indebtedness or liability in any manner or for any purpose exceeding in any year the income and revenue provided for such year, without the assent of two-thirds three-fifths of the qualified electors thereof, voting at an election to be held for that purpose, except that with respect to any such public entity which is authorized to incur indebtedness for public school purposes, any proposition for the incurrence of indebtedness in the form of general obligation bonds for the purpose of repairing, reconstructing or replacing public school buildings determined, in the manner prescribed by law, to be structurally unsafe for school use, shall be adopted upon the approval of a majority of the qualified electors of the public entity voting on the proposition at such election; nor unless before or at the time of incurring such indebtedness provision shall be made for the collection of an annual tax sufficient to pay the interest on such indebtedness as it falls due, and also provision to constitute a sinking fund for the payment of the principal thereof, on or before maturity, which shall not exceed forty years from the time of contracting the same; provided, however, anything to the contrary herein notwithstanding, when two or more propositions for incurring any indebtedness or liability are submitted at the same election, the votes cast for and against each proposition shall be counted separately, and when two-thirds three-fifths or a majority of the qualified electors, as the case may be, voting on any one of such propositions, vote in favor thereof, such proposition shall be deemed adopted.