Prop 30 'spot bill' ruled unconstitutional
While this does little for us with the ‘unfair practices’ that took place in 2012 – this ruling stops the same shenanigans from happening again in the future...
Court ruling in Prop. 30 case - 'spot bills' are not allowed
The California Legislature acted unconstitutionally when it approved a bill moving Gov. Jerry Brown's initiative to raise taxes to the top of the November ballot, an appeals court ruled today.
The opinion does not affect the passage of Proposition 30 but could limit the Legislature's future use of so-called "spot bills," placeholder bills included in budget packages and passed as urgency measures only after they are filled with language later. Such budget-related bills are useful to lawmakers because they require only a majority vote and take effect immediately.
The measure that gave Proposition 30 top billing on the November ballot "was nothing but a number, a placeholder, an empty vessel at the time the budget bill was passed," the court ruled.
That bill, Assembly Bill 1499, gave ballot order priority to signature-based constitutional amendments over other initiatives. A higher position on the ballot is considered advantageous.
The taxpayers association heralded the ruling in a news release, calling it a case of "huge significance for the budget process."
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's office said it was reviewing the decision and conferring with counsel.