Those involved in the political world often repeat the
refrain that elections have consequences. Who wins or what measures pass will
determine the direction of government until the next election.
However, a number of people involved in the 2010 November
election might wonder about that statement. Putting aside the beef some might
have with elected officials who acted differently than some voters anticipated
once in office, let’s concentrate on ballot measures, which do not have the human
quality to change a mind.
to the League of Cities, Proposition 22 on the November 2010 ballot explicitly
prohibited the governor and legislature from abolishing redevelopment
districts, but the governor signed the bill. See you in court says the League
Proposition 26 set a new standard requiring a two-thirds
vote for fees. Yet, the budget contains majority vote fees on property owners
in certain fire districts and a new Department of Motor Vehicles fee. Are these
really fees for service or are they disguised taxes that require a two-thirds
vote? The Howard
Jarvis Taxpayers Association says they are making that determination and
may go to court.
The legislature also toyed with changing the single sales
factor tax formula for corporations less than a year after the voters rejected
Proposition 24, which would have changed that law much in the same way the legislative
bill proposed. In the end, that piece of legislation did not go forward.
No more than eight months after the people have spoken on
these issues the legislature is testing proposals that challenge the direction
the voters decided at the election.
The legislation may not violate the ballot measures. The
legislators may have crafted the bills not to cross the voters’ dictates. That’s what the courts will determine.
However, it seems strange that the legislature would dare go
into areas on which the voters have so recently spoken.
A number of reformers have called for a change in the law
that would permit the legislature to amend initiatives after they pass. As of
now, only another vote of the people could amend a previous initiative.
Given the legislative activity within the sphere of the
recently passed initiatives mentioned above, you wonder, if the legislature had
the power to amend initiatives after they passed, how often the legislators
would do just that, at times ignoring the voters’ wishes.