Post-Election Update – California Propositions
- November 14, 2016
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California’s November, 2016 election ballot included 17 statewide voter referendums, known as Propositions. I will be analyzing and reporting on measures affecting California businesses that passed.
First up – Proposition 54. This measure passed and prohibits the state Legislature from passing any bill until it has published in print and on the Internet for 72 hours. It also requires the Legislature to record its legislative sessions and publish them on the Internet. This propositions also allows anyone to make an audio or visual record any public legislative sessions and use the recording for “any legitimate purpose”.
I view Prop 54 as an excellent reform to the legislative process in California, which has long been plagued by the common practice called “gut and amend” by which legislators amend legislation previously introduced as one bill into a completely different bill, often about a completely different subject. These amendments have previously been allowed to occur at the last minute without notice to interested members of the public. This bill’s 72 hour requirement for prior publication on the Internet should be very helpful to anyone doing business in the state so that at least we are not burdened with the unexpected passage of new laws affecting business without prior notice and an opportunity to oppose such bills if desired. I would have preferred that the notice requirement was longer than 72 hours, but at least this is an improvement compared to the nightmare of the unchecked “gut and amend” process, which only led to increased power by special interests.
Conclusion: This will lead to a much fairer and more open legislative process and is GOOD for California business.