Thursday, December 10, 2009

Prop. 71 Not Alone in Super, Super Majority Requirement

The outside counsel for the California stem cell agency today pointed out that other adopted ballot measures besides Prop. 71 require a super, supermajority vote to be altered by the state Legislature.

James Harrison, of the Remcho, Johansen & Purcell firm of San Leandro, Ca., made the comment via email in connection with our “Legal Cap” item Dec. 9, 2009.

He said,
“I noticed that you said that no other changes in state law require a super, super-majority. In fact, both Prop. 116 and 117, adopted in 1990, require a 4/5 vote of both houses of the Legislature. Also, many members of the public do not understand that the California Constitution prohibits the Legislature from amending an initiative, unless the initiative expressly permits legislative amendment. Thus, there are many initiatives that do not permit legislative amendment at all, including Prop. 213 and 215, both approved by the voters in 1996. And there are a slew of measures that require a 2/3 vote of the Legislature to amend the law, including Prop. 98 (1988) and Prop. 10 (1998).”
Our thanks to Harrison for calling this to our attention. We have corrected the item.

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