Donate
Independent, objective, nonpartisan research

AI 1013MBAI

Authors

AI 1013MBAI

Tagged with:

Publication PDFs

Database

This is the content currently stored in the post and postmeta tables.

View live version

object(Timber\Post)#3711 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(15) "AI_1013MBAI.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(7) "5727495" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(24897) "RefoRming CalifoRnia’s initi ative PRoCess Mark Baldassare, with research support froM dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha The last 10 years—since the 2003 recall of California’s governor—have seen a level of political reform unprecedented in recent state history, with voters weighing in on a number of significant governance and fiscal changes. Political reformers and legislators are now taking aim at the 102-year-old initiative process. In this report, we analyze the public’s current views on California’s ballot initiatives, identify the major forces behind the public’s calls for political reform, and examine areas of consensus on changing the process. We then offer several policy recommendations aligned with the changes favored by voters, including connecting the legislative and initia - tive processes, increasing disclosures of initiative funders, and reengaging citizens in the initiative process. These recommendations hold considerable promise for increasing citizen engagement, election participation, and trust in government—essential elements in creating a bright future for California’s democracy. Citizens’ initiative reform will not be easy, but pursued thought - fully it can improve the long-term outlook for our state. supported with funding from the s. d. Bec htel, jr. foun dation oc toBer 20 13 aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 2 36 2012 922 44 61 62 30 35 23 70 60 50 40 30 20 100 1910s **1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s1960s 1970s1980s 1990s 2000s2010s** Approved Rejected 21 24 20 9 23 37 42 14 10 6237 26 1410 615 8 10 22 25Number of initiatives intRoduCtion The initiative came to California 102 years ago, led by then-governor Hiram Johnson and a group of Republican reformers known as “Progressives.” The purpose of giving voters this power was to curb the influence of corrupt politicians and big business. Proposition 7 passed (76% yes) in a special election on October 10, 1911. Since then, California voters have been able to go to the ballot to create new legislation. 1 After an initial flurry of ballot activity in early decades, the initiative process was used relatively rarely in the 1950s and 1960s. In all, there were fewer than 2.5 qualified initia - tives per year from 1912 to 1969, and voters approved only about one in four initiatives that were on the ballot. The use of the initiative increased after the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, leading to its current role as a parallel legislative process or fourth govern- ment branch. Between 1978 and the 2003 gubernatorial recall, 128 initiatives qualified for the ballot. Voters passed 55 of them, constituting an overall approval rate of 43 percent. Spending on initiatives intensified as paid signature gathering and professionally run campaigns became the norm. 2 In an era defined by voter distrust in government, including negative perceptions of both powerful interest groups and legislative gridlock, voters passed initiatives that limited state lawmakers’ time in office and their discretion over state spending. 3 Voter dissatis- faction culminated in the historic recall of Governor Gray Davis in October 2003, when voters selected film star Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace Davis. The past 10 years have been a busy and momentous time in initiative history. There have been 100 state propositions on the ballot: 68 citizens’ initiatives (22 passed), 25 legisla - tive measures (17 passed), six referenda measures, and the gubernatorial recall. Many of the ballot measures in recent years sought to improve the state’s fiscal and governance systems, which voters have perceived as inadequate in economically challenging times. Some observers have argued that the citizens’ initiative is part of the state’s governmental dysfunction, which has led to heightened interest in changing the initiative process. 4 fi g uRe 1. Citizens’ initiatives* on state ballots fRom 19 12–2012 souRCe: California secr etary of stat e, “Initiatives by Title and summ ary Year.” noTes: *only i ncludes citizens’ initiatives and not referenda or those placed on ballot by legislature. **The 1910s (election years 1912–1918) and 2010s (election years 2010 and 2012) are not full decades. aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 13 We recommend three steps as Californians seek to mend, not end, their direct democracy system: Connect the legislative and initiative process . Californians like the idea of expand- ing the legislature’s involvement in the initiative process in ways they see as blending the best of both worlds. There could be many benefits to reviving California’s indirect initiative process even in light of its lack of use in California’s past and in other states today. Initiative sponsors could work toward a possible compromise before they go to the ballot for a vote. Sponsors could also bring their initiatives to the legislature for re- view, perhaps revealing drafting errors and avoiding later court challenges—or at the very least adding a layer of transparency and dialogue to the review process. Moreover, Californians like the idea of making it easier for the legislature to bring fiscal measures to the ballot so that they can have a say on the major tax and spending issues of the day. By contrast, they do not support allowing the legislature to tinker with initiatives after they have passed or making it easier for the legislature to raise taxes if there is no public vote on the idea. Increase disclosure of initiative funders . Voters are eager to learn more about the moneyed interests behind initiative campaigns. Too often, voters feel that moneyed inter- ests have too much involvement in the process and that the intentions of these interests are not well known. Californians want greater transparency around the individuals and groups who spend large sums of money to influence voting on initiatives. This could include naming the top financial backers in signature-gathering materials, paid advertis - ing, and the voter information guide. Voters would also like to meet the people behind the yes and no sides of a campaign. This could include hearing their arguments in tele- vised debates and town halls. Without full financial disclosure, voters tend to approach ballot initiatives with suspicion and cynicism, which clouds discussion of the initiatives themselves. Reengage citizens in the initiative process . Californians have lost their connection to their own citizens’ initiative process. Today, it takes well-funded campaigns to qualify measures for the ballot, and citizen-led initiatives are likely to fall short of both time and money. Voters like the idea of extended time for volunteer-only signature gathering—a way of encouraging citizen involvement. Voters also like the idea of renewing important ballot decisions by voting on them again after a few years—a process that could both re - engage citizens and lead to less rigid lawmaking at the ballot box. Finally, Californians look favorably on the idea of establishing an independent citizens’ commission that would hold public hearings and make ballot recommendations. California could benefit from a close look at the Oregon experience and from some experimentation in the 2014 statewide election. aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 14 These recommendations would have effects that go beyond improving the initia - tive process. They would increase citizen engagement, encourage voter participa - tion, and build trust in state government. Voters in the past five years have made a series of dramatic governance changes, and given the driving forces of reform and Californians’ desire for change, voters could be poised to make more changes in the 2014 election and beyond. Still, history suggests that initiative reform will not be an easy task. Of all the changes made through initiatives, significant changes to the initiative system itself rarely occur. 23 Voters will be distrustful of legislators who want to make changes to the process, and moneyed interests and partisan groups who benefit from the current system will want to keep the status quo. Voters will likely reject reform pro - posals that they view as efforts by one group to gain advantage over another or as attempts to reduce the public voice in fiscal and governance decisions. Yet widespread consensus exists for making changes to the initiative system, and reforms are likely to pay large dividends. If the legislative and initiative processes can work together successfully, there could be far-reaching consequences—such as a more timely resolution of California’s many public policy challenges—that result in a brighter future for the state. aCknowledgments I wish to thank the James Irvine Foundation for their support of the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and their Government series. These public opinion data serve as the basis for much of the analysis reported here. I also acknowledge Eric McGhee, Lynette Ubois, Jennie Bowser, David McCuan, and Karthick Ramakrishnan for their reviews of earlier drafts. Any errors in this work are my own. about the authoR Mark Baldassare is president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California where he is the survey director of the PPIC Statewide Survey and holds the Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Public Policy. He is the coauthor of The Coming Age of Direct Democracy (2007) and the author of A California State of Mind (2002) and California in the New Millennium: The Changing Social and Political Landscape (2000). aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 15 notes 1. see, for example, the discussions of initiative history in Mark Baldassare and cher yl katz , The Coming Age of Direct Democracy: California’s Recall and Beyond (rowm an and litt lefield, 2007); Mark Baldassare, dean Bonner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, “ cali fornia’s init iative proc ess: 100 Years old, ” just t he fact s ( ppic, 20 11); shau n Bowler, todd dono van, and caro line tolb ert, eds., Citizens as Legislators: Direct Democracy in the United States ( ohio stat e univ ersity pres s, 1998); cali fornia comm ission on campaign finan cing, “ demo cracy by init iative: shap ing cali fornia’s four th Branch of Government” ( cent er for resp onsive Government, 1992); thom as e. cron in, Direct Democracy: The Politics of Initiative, Referendum, and Recall ( harv ard univ ersity pres s, 1999); Brian p. jani skee and ken Ma sugi, Democracy in California: Politics and Government in the Golden State ( rowm an and litt lefield, 2004); davi d Mc cuan a nd stev e stam bough, eds., Initiative-Centered Politics: The New Politics of Direct Democracy ( caro lina acad emic pres s, 2005); and leag ue of wome n Voters, “ init iative and refe rendum in cali fornia: a lega cy lost ?” ( febr uary 2013). 2. l eag ue of wome n Voters, “ init iative and refe rendum in cali fornia: a lega cy lost ?” ( febr uary 2013) and cali fornia secr etary of stat e, “ init iatives by titl e and summ ary Year.” 3. s ee fo r example Mark Baldassare, California in the New Millennium: The Changing Social and Political Landscape ( univ ersity of cali fornia pres s, 2000); Mark Baldassare, A California State of Mind: The Conflicted Voter in a Changing World ( univ ersity of cali fornia pres s, 2002); Bruce cain a nd thad kous ser, Adapting to Term Limits: Recent Experiences and New Directions ( ppic, 200 4); jack citr in, “ do peop le want some thing for noth ing?: publ ic opin ion on taxe s and spen ding,” National Tax Journal 32: 113-129 (1979); eric M cGhee, At Issue: Legislative Reform ( ppic, 200 7); and j. fred silv a, “ the cali fornia init iative proc ess: Background and pers pective,” occa sional pape rs ( ppic, 200 7). 4. s ee fo r example davi d s. Bro der, Democracy Derailed: Initiative Campaigns and the Power of Money ( harc ourt, 2000); joe Ma thews and Mark paul , California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It ( univ ersity of cali fornia pres s, 2010); pete r shra g, Paradise Lost: California’s Experience, America’s Future ( new pres s, 1998); pete r schr ag, California: America’s High Stakes Experiment ( univ ersity of cali fornia pres s, 2006); and San Francisco Chronicle editorial, “ it’s time f or init iative refo rm” ( febr uary 18 , 2013). 5. t he so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, March 2013 (1,703 adults); Mark Baldassare, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, octo ber 2000 (2,007 adults); and Mark Baldassare, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , augu st 2006 (2,001 adults). 6. t he so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , janu ary 2013 (1,704 adults). 7. t he so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , May 2013 (1,704 adults). 8. t he so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , March 2013 (1,703 adults). 9. t he so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , May 2013 (1,704 adults). 10. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , May 2013 (1,704 adults). 11. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, PPIC Statewide Sur vey: Californians and Their Government , sept ember 2006 (2,003 adults) and Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, jenn ifer palu ch, and sonj a pete k, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , se p t e m b e r 2008 (2,002 adults). 12. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , March 2013 (1,703 adults). fift y- seven percent of those who are very satisfied with the initiative process want major or minor changes, com - pared with 76 percent of those who are somewhat satisfied and 92 percent of those who are not satisfied. 13. see a mo re detailed discussion of these four factors in Mark Baldassare and cher yl katz , The Coming Age of Direct Democracy: California’s Recall and Beyond ( rowm an and litt lefield, 2007). 14. see, f or example, Mark Baldassare, A California State of Mind: The Conflicted Voter in a Changing World ( univ ersity of cali fornia pres s, 2002) and terr y nich ols clar k and Vincent hoff man-Martinot, eds., The New Political Culture ( westv iew press , 1998). aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 16 15. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, May 2013 (1,704 adults) and Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Sur vey: Californians and Their Government, janu ary 2013 (1,704 adults). as evi dence of the link between populism and the initiative process in this survey, six in 10 of the 48 percent of adults who say the state is going in the wrong direction also be - lieve that public policy decisions made by cali fornia voters through the initiative process are probably better than those made by the governor and legislature. 16. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , May 2013 (1,704 adults). as for the link between legislative distrust and the initiative process in this survey, six in 10 of the 50 percent of adults who disapprove of the job performance of the legislature believe that public policy decisions made by cali fornia voters through the initiative process are probably better than those made by the governor and legislature. 17. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , May 2013 (1,704 adults). as for t he link between moneyed interests and the initiative process in this survey, six in 10 of the 61 percent of adults who say state government is run by a few big interests believe that public policy decisions made by cali fornia voters through the initiative process are probably better than those made by the governor and legislature. 18. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , March 2013 (1,703 adults). see M ark Baldassare, At Issue: Improving California’s Democracy ( ppic, 201 2); Mark Baldassare, At I s s u e California’s Post-Partisan Future ( ppic, 200 8); and Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, “ cali fornia’s inde pendent Voters,” just t he fact s ( ppic, 201 2). see eric M cGhee, Redistricting and Legislative Partisanship ( ppic, 200 8) for an empirical analysis on the causal factors in the cali fornia leg islature. 19. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , March 2013 (1,703 adults). 20. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , May 2013 (1,704 adults). 21. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, PPIC Statewide Sur vey: Californians and Their Government , nove mber 2005 (2,002 election voters) and Mark Baldassare, dean Bonner, jenn ifer palu ch, and sonj a pete k, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , dece mber 2008 (2,003 election voters). 22. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , May 2013 (1,704 adults). for fu r- ther information on the citi zens init iative revi ew commis sion in oregon see http://www.oregon.gov/circ and http://healthydemocracy.org/citizens-initiative-review, and for further cali fornia polling on the citizens’ initia- tive commission see Greenlining inst itute, “ cali fornia Ballot refo rm pane l surv ey 2011-2012” ( janu ary 2012). 23. cali fornia voters rejected three initiatives that would have resulted in significant initiative reforms: prop osition 4, incr ease in sign atures requ ired for init iative peti tions, on nove mber 2, 1920; prop osition 27, incr ease in numb er of sign atures requ ired on peti tions, on nove mber 7, 1922; and prop osition 137, rule s Governing init iatives, on nove mber 6, 1990. Voters passed significant initiative reforms through prop osition 1a, the cons titutional revi sion amen dment, on nove mber 8, 1966, which lowered the number of signatures required for initiative statutes and eliminated the indirect initiative and also passed prop osition 9, the poli tical refo rm act, o n june 4 , 1974, which changed the initiative information required in the ballot pamphlet. ther e have been other attempts and minor changes in the initiative process over time. see leag ue of wome n Voters, “ init iative and refe rendum in cali fornia: a lega cy lost ?” ( febr uary 2013) and cali fornia comm ission on campaign finan cing, “ demo cracy by initi ative: shapi ng cali fornia’s fourt h Branch of Government” ( cent er for respon sive Government, 1992). aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 17 PPiC exPeRts mark balda ssare President and Chief Executive Officer 415 -291-4427 bald assare@ppic.org expe rtise • Pu blic opinion   – Political, social, economic, and environmental attitudes • Public policy preferences • elec tions • stat e initiatives • stat e and local government relations • Political participation • Demographics educ ation Ph. D. (1976), sociology, univ ersity of California, Berkeley, and m.a. (19 73), sociology, univ ersity of California, sant a Barbara dean bonner Survey Research Associate 415-291-4497 bonner@ppic.org expe rtise • Pu blic opinion and survey research • lati no and african ameri can political attitudes • Pol itical trust • Po litical participation and voting behavior educ ation Ph. D. (2009) and m.a. (20 03), political science, univ ersity of new orle ans sonja Petek Survey Research Associate 415-291-4408 petek@ppic.org expe rtise • Pu blic opinion research and telephone survey methodology • Pu blic policy preferences and ballot choices • Pub lic attitudes on education, environment, and health issues educ ation B.a. (1 998), political science, sta nford uni versity aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 18 Jui shrestha Survey Research Associate 415-291-4475 shrestha@ppic.org expe rtise • Pu blic opinion on policy preferences and ballot choices • surv ey research methodology • Pe rformance management and program evaluation educ ation m.P.a. (20 10), public policy, univ ersity of Connecticut eric mcghee Research Fellow 415-291-4439 mcg hee@ppic.org expert ise • elec tions   – California redistricting reform   – stat e and local voter initiatives   – votin g behavior • legi slative behavior   – legi slative organization   – Responsiveness to public opinion   – stat e term limits • Political participation • Political parties and party polarization • Polling and public opinion educ ation Ph. D. (2003) and m.a. (19 98), political science, univ ersity of California, Berkeley Related PubliCations PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government “ the init iative proc ess in cali fornia” ( just t he fact s, octob er 2013) “ cali fornia’s like ly Voters” ( just t he fact s, augu st 2013) At Issue: Improving California’s Democracy ( octob er 2012) aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 19 PPiC boaRd o f diReCtoRs Donna Lucas , Chairchie f exec utive offi cer luca s publ ic affa irs Mark Baldassare presid ent and ce o p ubli c policy inst itute of cali fornia Ruben Barrales presid ent and ce o Grow elect M aría Blanco Vice presid ent, civic engage ment cali fornia comm unity foundat ion Brigitte Bren attor ney Walter B. Hewlett chai r, Board of dire ctors will iam and flora hewl ett foundat ion Phil Isenberg cha ir delta ste wardship cou ncil Mas Masumoto auth or and farm er Steven A. Merksamer seni or part ner nielse n, Merksamer, parr inello, Gross & leon i, ll p Kim Polese cha irman clea r stree t, inc . Thomas C. Sutton retir ed cha irman and ceo pacif ic life insur ance compa ny Copyright © 2013 Public Policy Institute of California. all ri ghts reser ved. san fran cisco, Ca The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal leg - islation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. shor t sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. PU B L I C PO L ICy IN S T I T U Te OF CA L I F O R N I A 500 W A ShI NgT O N ST Re eT, SU I Te 6 00 • S A N FR A N C I S C O , C A 94111 P 415 .291.4400 • F 415 .291.4401 • www.ppic.org P P I C S A C R A M eN T O CeN TeR • SeN A T O R O F F I C e B U I L D I N g 1121 L S T R e eT, SU I Te 8 01 • S AC R A M E N T O , C A 9 5 814 P 91 6.4 4 0.1120 • F 91 6.4 4 0.1121 additional resources rel ated to fiscal/GoVer nance reforM are a Vail a Ble at www.ppic.or G" } ["___content":protected]=> string(108) "

AI 1013MBAI

" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(86) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/reforming-californias-initiative-process/ai_1013mbai/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8885) ["ID"]=> int(8885) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:47" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4310) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(11) "AI 1013MBAI" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(11) "ai_1013mbai" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(15) "AI_1013MBAI.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(7) "5727495" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(24897) "RefoRming CalifoRnia’s initi ative PRoCess Mark Baldassare, with research support froM dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha The last 10 years—since the 2003 recall of California’s governor—have seen a level of political reform unprecedented in recent state history, with voters weighing in on a number of significant governance and fiscal changes. Political reformers and legislators are now taking aim at the 102-year-old initiative process. In this report, we analyze the public’s current views on California’s ballot initiatives, identify the major forces behind the public’s calls for political reform, and examine areas of consensus on changing the process. We then offer several policy recommendations aligned with the changes favored by voters, including connecting the legislative and initia - tive processes, increasing disclosures of initiative funders, and reengaging citizens in the initiative process. These recommendations hold considerable promise for increasing citizen engagement, election participation, and trust in government—essential elements in creating a bright future for California’s democracy. Citizens’ initiative reform will not be easy, but pursued thought - fully it can improve the long-term outlook for our state. supported with funding from the s. d. Bec htel, jr. foun dation oc toBer 20 13 aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 2 36 2012 922 44 61 62 30 35 23 70 60 50 40 30 20 100 1910s **1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s1960s 1970s1980s 1990s 2000s2010s** Approved Rejected 21 24 20 9 23 37 42 14 10 6237 26 1410 615 8 10 22 25Number of initiatives intRoduCtion The initiative came to California 102 years ago, led by then-governor Hiram Johnson and a group of Republican reformers known as “Progressives.” The purpose of giving voters this power was to curb the influence of corrupt politicians and big business. Proposition 7 passed (76% yes) in a special election on October 10, 1911. Since then, California voters have been able to go to the ballot to create new legislation. 1 After an initial flurry of ballot activity in early decades, the initiative process was used relatively rarely in the 1950s and 1960s. In all, there were fewer than 2.5 qualified initia - tives per year from 1912 to 1969, and voters approved only about one in four initiatives that were on the ballot. The use of the initiative increased after the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, leading to its current role as a parallel legislative process or fourth govern- ment branch. Between 1978 and the 2003 gubernatorial recall, 128 initiatives qualified for the ballot. Voters passed 55 of them, constituting an overall approval rate of 43 percent. Spending on initiatives intensified as paid signature gathering and professionally run campaigns became the norm. 2 In an era defined by voter distrust in government, including negative perceptions of both powerful interest groups and legislative gridlock, voters passed initiatives that limited state lawmakers’ time in office and their discretion over state spending. 3 Voter dissatis- faction culminated in the historic recall of Governor Gray Davis in October 2003, when voters selected film star Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace Davis. The past 10 years have been a busy and momentous time in initiative history. There have been 100 state propositions on the ballot: 68 citizens’ initiatives (22 passed), 25 legisla - tive measures (17 passed), six referenda measures, and the gubernatorial recall. Many of the ballot measures in recent years sought to improve the state’s fiscal and governance systems, which voters have perceived as inadequate in economically challenging times. Some observers have argued that the citizens’ initiative is part of the state’s governmental dysfunction, which has led to heightened interest in changing the initiative process. 4 fi g uRe 1. Citizens’ initiatives* on state ballots fRom 19 12–2012 souRCe: California secr etary of stat e, “Initiatives by Title and summ ary Year.” noTes: *only i ncludes citizens’ initiatives and not referenda or those placed on ballot by legislature. **The 1910s (election years 1912–1918) and 2010s (election years 2010 and 2012) are not full decades. aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 13 We recommend three steps as Californians seek to mend, not end, their direct democracy system: Connect the legislative and initiative process . Californians like the idea of expand- ing the legislature’s involvement in the initiative process in ways they see as blending the best of both worlds. There could be many benefits to reviving California’s indirect initiative process even in light of its lack of use in California’s past and in other states today. Initiative sponsors could work toward a possible compromise before they go to the ballot for a vote. Sponsors could also bring their initiatives to the legislature for re- view, perhaps revealing drafting errors and avoiding later court challenges—or at the very least adding a layer of transparency and dialogue to the review process. Moreover, Californians like the idea of making it easier for the legislature to bring fiscal measures to the ballot so that they can have a say on the major tax and spending issues of the day. By contrast, they do not support allowing the legislature to tinker with initiatives after they have passed or making it easier for the legislature to raise taxes if there is no public vote on the idea. Increase disclosure of initiative funders . Voters are eager to learn more about the moneyed interests behind initiative campaigns. Too often, voters feel that moneyed inter- ests have too much involvement in the process and that the intentions of these interests are not well known. Californians want greater transparency around the individuals and groups who spend large sums of money to influence voting on initiatives. This could include naming the top financial backers in signature-gathering materials, paid advertis - ing, and the voter information guide. Voters would also like to meet the people behind the yes and no sides of a campaign. This could include hearing their arguments in tele- vised debates and town halls. Without full financial disclosure, voters tend to approach ballot initiatives with suspicion and cynicism, which clouds discussion of the initiatives themselves. Reengage citizens in the initiative process . Californians have lost their connection to their own citizens’ initiative process. Today, it takes well-funded campaigns to qualify measures for the ballot, and citizen-led initiatives are likely to fall short of both time and money. Voters like the idea of extended time for volunteer-only signature gathering—a way of encouraging citizen involvement. Voters also like the idea of renewing important ballot decisions by voting on them again after a few years—a process that could both re - engage citizens and lead to less rigid lawmaking at the ballot box. Finally, Californians look favorably on the idea of establishing an independent citizens’ commission that would hold public hearings and make ballot recommendations. California could benefit from a close look at the Oregon experience and from some experimentation in the 2014 statewide election. aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 14 These recommendations would have effects that go beyond improving the initia - tive process. They would increase citizen engagement, encourage voter participa - tion, and build trust in state government. Voters in the past five years have made a series of dramatic governance changes, and given the driving forces of reform and Californians’ desire for change, voters could be poised to make more changes in the 2014 election and beyond. Still, history suggests that initiative reform will not be an easy task. Of all the changes made through initiatives, significant changes to the initiative system itself rarely occur. 23 Voters will be distrustful of legislators who want to make changes to the process, and moneyed interests and partisan groups who benefit from the current system will want to keep the status quo. Voters will likely reject reform pro - posals that they view as efforts by one group to gain advantage over another or as attempts to reduce the public voice in fiscal and governance decisions. Yet widespread consensus exists for making changes to the initiative system, and reforms are likely to pay large dividends. If the legislative and initiative processes can work together successfully, there could be far-reaching consequences—such as a more timely resolution of California’s many public policy challenges—that result in a brighter future for the state. aCknowledgments I wish to thank the James Irvine Foundation for their support of the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and their Government series. These public opinion data serve as the basis for much of the analysis reported here. I also acknowledge Eric McGhee, Lynette Ubois, Jennie Bowser, David McCuan, and Karthick Ramakrishnan for their reviews of earlier drafts. Any errors in this work are my own. about the authoR Mark Baldassare is president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California where he is the survey director of the PPIC Statewide Survey and holds the Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Public Policy. He is the coauthor of The Coming Age of Direct Democracy (2007) and the author of A California State of Mind (2002) and California in the New Millennium: The Changing Social and Political Landscape (2000). aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 15 notes 1. see, for example, the discussions of initiative history in Mark Baldassare and cher yl katz , The Coming Age of Direct Democracy: California’s Recall and Beyond (rowm an and litt lefield, 2007); Mark Baldassare, dean Bonner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, “ cali fornia’s init iative proc ess: 100 Years old, ” just t he fact s ( ppic, 20 11); shau n Bowler, todd dono van, and caro line tolb ert, eds., Citizens as Legislators: Direct Democracy in the United States ( ohio stat e univ ersity pres s, 1998); cali fornia comm ission on campaign finan cing, “ demo cracy by init iative: shap ing cali fornia’s four th Branch of Government” ( cent er for resp onsive Government, 1992); thom as e. cron in, Direct Democracy: The Politics of Initiative, Referendum, and Recall ( harv ard univ ersity pres s, 1999); Brian p. jani skee and ken Ma sugi, Democracy in California: Politics and Government in the Golden State ( rowm an and litt lefield, 2004); davi d Mc cuan a nd stev e stam bough, eds., Initiative-Centered Politics: The New Politics of Direct Democracy ( caro lina acad emic pres s, 2005); and leag ue of wome n Voters, “ init iative and refe rendum in cali fornia: a lega cy lost ?” ( febr uary 2013). 2. l eag ue of wome n Voters, “ init iative and refe rendum in cali fornia: a lega cy lost ?” ( febr uary 2013) and cali fornia secr etary of stat e, “ init iatives by titl e and summ ary Year.” 3. s ee fo r example Mark Baldassare, California in the New Millennium: The Changing Social and Political Landscape ( univ ersity of cali fornia pres s, 2000); Mark Baldassare, A California State of Mind: The Conflicted Voter in a Changing World ( univ ersity of cali fornia pres s, 2002); Bruce cain a nd thad kous ser, Adapting to Term Limits: Recent Experiences and New Directions ( ppic, 200 4); jack citr in, “ do peop le want some thing for noth ing?: publ ic opin ion on taxe s and spen ding,” National Tax Journal 32: 113-129 (1979); eric M cGhee, At Issue: Legislative Reform ( ppic, 200 7); and j. fred silv a, “ the cali fornia init iative proc ess: Background and pers pective,” occa sional pape rs ( ppic, 200 7). 4. s ee fo r example davi d s. Bro der, Democracy Derailed: Initiative Campaigns and the Power of Money ( harc ourt, 2000); joe Ma thews and Mark paul , California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It ( univ ersity of cali fornia pres s, 2010); pete r shra g, Paradise Lost: California’s Experience, America’s Future ( new pres s, 1998); pete r schr ag, California: America’s High Stakes Experiment ( univ ersity of cali fornia pres s, 2006); and San Francisco Chronicle editorial, “ it’s time f or init iative refo rm” ( febr uary 18 , 2013). 5. t he so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, March 2013 (1,703 adults); Mark Baldassare, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, octo ber 2000 (2,007 adults); and Mark Baldassare, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , augu st 2006 (2,001 adults). 6. t he so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , janu ary 2013 (1,704 adults). 7. t he so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , May 2013 (1,704 adults). 8. t he so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , March 2013 (1,703 adults). 9. t he so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , May 2013 (1,704 adults). 10. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , May 2013 (1,704 adults). 11. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, PPIC Statewide Sur vey: Californians and Their Government , sept ember 2006 (2,003 adults) and Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, jenn ifer palu ch, and sonj a pete k, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , se p t e m b e r 2008 (2,002 adults). 12. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , March 2013 (1,703 adults). fift y- seven percent of those who are very satisfied with the initiative process want major or minor changes, com - pared with 76 percent of those who are somewhat satisfied and 92 percent of those who are not satisfied. 13. see a mo re detailed discussion of these four factors in Mark Baldassare and cher yl katz , The Coming Age of Direct Democracy: California’s Recall and Beyond ( rowm an and litt lefield, 2007). 14. see, f or example, Mark Baldassare, A California State of Mind: The Conflicted Voter in a Changing World ( univ ersity of cali fornia pres s, 2002) and terr y nich ols clar k and Vincent hoff man-Martinot, eds., The New Political Culture ( westv iew press , 1998). aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 16 15. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, May 2013 (1,704 adults) and Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Sur vey: Californians and Their Government, janu ary 2013 (1,704 adults). as evi dence of the link between populism and the initiative process in this survey, six in 10 of the 48 percent of adults who say the state is going in the wrong direction also be - lieve that public policy decisions made by cali fornia voters through the initiative process are probably better than those made by the governor and legislature. 16. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , May 2013 (1,704 adults). as for the link between legislative distrust and the initiative process in this survey, six in 10 of the 50 percent of adults who disapprove of the job performance of the legislature believe that public policy decisions made by cali fornia voters through the initiative process are probably better than those made by the governor and legislature. 17. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , May 2013 (1,704 adults). as for t he link between moneyed interests and the initiative process in this survey, six in 10 of the 61 percent of adults who say state government is run by a few big interests believe that public policy decisions made by cali fornia voters through the initiative process are probably better than those made by the governor and legislature. 18. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , March 2013 (1,703 adults). see M ark Baldassare, At Issue: Improving California’s Democracy ( ppic, 201 2); Mark Baldassare, At I s s u e California’s Post-Partisan Future ( ppic, 200 8); and Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, “ cali fornia’s inde pendent Voters,” just t he fact s ( ppic, 201 2). see eric M cGhee, Redistricting and Legislative Partisanship ( ppic, 200 8) for an empirical analysis on the causal factors in the cali fornia leg islature. 19. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , March 2013 (1,703 adults). 20. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , May 2013 (1,704 adults). 21. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, PPIC Statewide Sur vey: Californians and Their Government , nove mber 2005 (2,002 election voters) and Mark Baldassare, dean Bonner, jenn ifer palu ch, and sonj a pete k, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , dece mber 2008 (2,003 election voters). 22. the so urce for data reported in the accompanying text is Mark Baldassare, dean B onner, sonj a pete k, and jui shre stha, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government , May 2013 (1,704 adults). for fu r- ther information on the citi zens init iative revi ew commis sion in oregon see http://www.oregon.gov/circ and http://healthydemocracy.org/citizens-initiative-review, and for further cali fornia polling on the citizens’ initia- tive commission see Greenlining inst itute, “ cali fornia Ballot refo rm pane l surv ey 2011-2012” ( janu ary 2012). 23. cali fornia voters rejected three initiatives that would have resulted in significant initiative reforms: prop osition 4, incr ease in sign atures requ ired for init iative peti tions, on nove mber 2, 1920; prop osition 27, incr ease in numb er of sign atures requ ired on peti tions, on nove mber 7, 1922; and prop osition 137, rule s Governing init iatives, on nove mber 6, 1990. Voters passed significant initiative reforms through prop osition 1a, the cons titutional revi sion amen dment, on nove mber 8, 1966, which lowered the number of signatures required for initiative statutes and eliminated the indirect initiative and also passed prop osition 9, the poli tical refo rm act, o n june 4 , 1974, which changed the initiative information required in the ballot pamphlet. ther e have been other attempts and minor changes in the initiative process over time. see leag ue of wome n Voters, “ init iative and refe rendum in cali fornia: a lega cy lost ?” ( febr uary 2013) and cali fornia comm ission on campaign finan cing, “ demo cracy by initi ative: shapi ng cali fornia’s fourt h Branch of Government” ( cent er for respon sive Government, 1992). aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 17 PPiC exPeRts mark balda ssare President and Chief Executive Officer 415 -291-4427 bald assare@ppic.org expe rtise • Pu blic opinion   – Political, social, economic, and environmental attitudes • Public policy preferences • elec tions • stat e initiatives • stat e and local government relations • Political participation • Demographics educ ation Ph. D. (1976), sociology, univ ersity of California, Berkeley, and m.a. (19 73), sociology, univ ersity of California, sant a Barbara dean bonner Survey Research Associate 415-291-4497 bonner@ppic.org expe rtise • Pu blic opinion and survey research • lati no and african ameri can political attitudes • Pol itical trust • Po litical participation and voting behavior educ ation Ph. D. (2009) and m.a. (20 03), political science, univ ersity of new orle ans sonja Petek Survey Research Associate 415-291-4408 petek@ppic.org expe rtise • Pu blic opinion research and telephone survey methodology • Pu blic policy preferences and ballot choices • Pub lic attitudes on education, environment, and health issues educ ation B.a. (1 998), political science, sta nford uni versity aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 18 Jui shrestha Survey Research Associate 415-291-4475 shrestha@ppic.org expe rtise • Pu blic opinion on policy preferences and ballot choices • surv ey research methodology • Pe rformance management and program evaluation educ ation m.P.a. (20 10), public policy, univ ersity of Connecticut eric mcghee Research Fellow 415-291-4439 mcg hee@ppic.org expert ise • elec tions   – California redistricting reform   – stat e and local voter initiatives   – votin g behavior • legi slative behavior   – legi slative organization   – Responsiveness to public opinion   – stat e term limits • Political participation • Political parties and party polarization • Polling and public opinion educ ation Ph. D. (2003) and m.a. (19 98), political science, univ ersity of California, Berkeley Related PubliCations PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government “ the init iative proc ess in cali fornia” ( just t he fact s, octob er 2013) “ cali fornia’s like ly Voters” ( just t he fact s, augu st 2013) At Issue: Improving California’s Democracy ( octob er 2012) aT Issue: [ RefoRmIng Ca lIfoRnIa’ s InITIaTIve PRoCess ] PPIC 19 PPiC boaRd o f diReCtoRs Donna Lucas , Chairchie f exec utive offi cer luca s publ ic affa irs Mark Baldassare presid ent and ce o p ubli c policy inst itute of cali fornia Ruben Barrales presid ent and ce o Grow elect M aría Blanco Vice presid ent, civic engage ment cali fornia comm unity foundat ion Brigitte Bren attor ney Walter B. Hewlett chai r, Board of dire ctors will iam and flora hewl ett foundat ion Phil Isenberg cha ir delta ste wardship cou ncil Mas Masumoto auth or and farm er Steven A. Merksamer seni or part ner nielse n, Merksamer, parr inello, Gross & leon i, ll p Kim Polese cha irman clea r stree t, inc . Thomas C. Sutton retir ed cha irman and ceo pacif ic life insur ance compa ny Copyright © 2013 Public Policy Institute of California. all ri ghts reser ved. san fran cisco, Ca The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal leg - islation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. shor t sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. PU B L I C PO L ICy IN S T I T U Te OF CA L I F O R N I A 500 W A ShI NgT O N ST Re eT, SU I Te 6 00 • S A N FR A N C I S C O , C A 94111 P 415 .291.4400 • F 415 .291.4401 • www.ppic.org P P I C S A C R A M eN T O CeN TeR • SeN A T O R O F F I C e B U I L D I N g 1121 L S T R e eT, SU I Te 8 01 • S AC R A M E N T O , C A 9 5 814 P 91 6.4 4 0.1120 • F 91 6.4 4 0.1121 additional resources rel ated to fiscal/GoVer nance reforM are a Vail a Ble at www.ppic.or G" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:47" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(11) "ai_1013mbai" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:47" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:47" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(53) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/AI_1013MBAI.pdf" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_mime_type"]=> string(15) "application/pdf" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["attachment_authors"]=> bool(false) }