By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Thursday, June 10th, 2010 at 5:50 pm in ballot measures.
A third ballot measure has qualified for the Nov. 2 ballot, this one to raise money for cash-strapped California parks.
The measure asks voters to voluntarily hike their vehicle license fees by $18 a year and in return, any vehicle whose owner has paid the surcharge will enjoy “free” admission to state parks. (Hey, does it work for my boat, too? We are frequent visitors to Angel Island.)
The other two measures on the ballot are the legalization of marijuana and the extension of legislative boundary redistricting to Congressional districts.
The Secretary of State is validating the signatures of another seven measures, including the elimination of the redistricting commission and a reduction in the voting threshhold to approve a state budget from two-thirds to a simple majority. Proponents are gathering signatures for another 54 initiatives.
Read on for the complete Secretary of State press release.
Secretary of State Debra Bowen Certifies State
Parks Measure for November 2 General Election Ballot
SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Debra Bowen today certified a fourth measure for the November 2, 2010, General Election ballot. The initiative would establish an $18 vehicle license surcharge to help fund state parks and wildlife programs.
The first measure to qualify was placed on the ballot by the Legislature with the passage of SBx7 2 (Chapter 3, Statutes of 2009, Seventh Extraordinary Session), related to the state water supply. The second measure qualified through the initiative process and would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana. The third measure also qualified through the initiative process and would place the redistricting of congressional districts under the authority of the new 14-member state redistricting commission. The last day to qualify any measure for the November General Election ballot is June 24.
In order to qualify for the ballot, the redistricting initiative needed 433,971 valid petition signatures, which is equal to five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the November 2006 General Election. The initiative proponents submitted 760,711 signatures in an attempt to qualify the measure, and it qualified through the random sample signature check.
An initiative can qualify via random sampling, without further verification, if the sampling projects a number of valid signatures greater than 110 percent of the required number. This initiative needed at least 477,369 projected valid signatures to qualify by random sampling, and it exceeded that threshold today.
County elections officials have 30 working days to verify the validity of the signatures filed with their offices using a random sampling method. In random sampling, the state Elections Code requires county elections officials to verify 500 signatures, or three percent of the number of signatures filed in their county, whichever is greater. A county elections office receiving fewer than 500 petition signatures must verify all the signatures.
The Attorney General’s official title and summary of the initiative is as follows:
ESTABLISHES $18 ANNUAL VEHICLE LICENSE SURCHARGE TO HELP FUND STATE PARKS AND WILDLIFE PROGRAMS AND GRANTS FREE ADMISSION TO ALL STATE PARKS TO SURCHARGED VEHICLES. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Establishes an $18 annual state vehicle license surcharge and grants free admission to all state parks to surcharged vehicles. Requires deposit of surcharge revenue in a new trust fund. Requires that trust funds be used solely to operate, maintain and repair the state park system, and to protect wildlife and natural resources. Exempts commercial vehicles, trailers and trailer coaches from the surcharge. Requires annual independent audit and review by citizen’s oversight committee. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state revenues of about $500 million annually from the imposition of a surcharge on the VLF to be used mainly to fund state parks and wildlife conservation programs. Potential state savings of up to approximately $200 million annually to the extent that the VLF surcharge revenues were used to reduce support from the General Fund and other special funds for parks and wildlife conservation programs. Reduction of about $50 million annually in state and local revenues from state park day-use fees. These revenue losses could potentially be offset by increases in other types of state park user fees and revenues. (09-0072.)
The proponent of this initiative is Joseph L. Caves. He can be reached at (916) 558-1516.
For more information about how an initiative qualifies for the ballot in California, go to www.sos.ca.gov/elections/initiative_guide.htm.
To sign up for regular ballot measure updates via email, RSS feed or Twitter, go to www.sos.ca.gov/multimedia.
To view this and other Secretary of State press releases, go to www.sos.ca.gov/admin/news-releases.htm.