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CALPAC Initiative

Welcome to the Official CALPAC Website. Our second legislative measure is the the California Public Accountability (CALPAC) Initiative Amendment to the California Constitution. Authored by Andy Ramirez in 1997 and registered as Initiative #794 with the Office of the California Secretary of State, January 1998.

Our sincerest thanks to The Honorable Ray Haynes, CA State Assemblymember, fmr Senator, 36th District, who served as our Honorary Chairman from 1995 to 1998 and to longtime advisor, Mr. Ron Prince, author of Prop 187 which was passed by California's voters in 1994.

Official Title and Summary
of the CALPAC Initiative (#794)


The Attorney General of California has prepared the following title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:

PUBLIC OFFICIALS: TERM LIMITS/COMPENSATION.
REDUCTION OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION.
INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

Increases Assemblymembers' term limit from 3 to four terms. Eliminates lifetime ban for Assembly, Senate Members who reach term limit; imposes 8-year waiting period before running for the same house. Shortens Legislature's annual sessions to March 1 through July 2. Requires majority voter approval to change salary of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Treasurer, Board of Equalization, Member of the Legislature. Prohibits payment from public funds of per diem, travel, living or vehicle expenses for legislators; restricts office remodeling funding. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Measure could result in unknown net savings to the State, probably millions of dollars annually.

Official Legislative Analysis

The following information was prepared by the Office of the Legislative Analyst and the Office of the Director of Finance and sent to the Office of the California Attorney General.

Pursuant to Election Code Section 9005, we have reviewed the proposed initiative constitutional amendment cited as the "California Public Accountability Amendment" (File No. SA 97 RF 0060, Amendment No. 2-NS).

Revised Term Limits for Legislators. This measure would permit Assembly Members to serve a maximum of four terms (eight years total) instead of the three terms now allowed by law. (This measure does not changed the current two-term [eight years total] limit on Members of the Senate.) The measure specifies that term limits would not amount to a lifetime ban on service in the Legislature. A legislator who reached his or her term limitation in a house of the Legislature could seek to return to that house after being out of such an office for eight years. Legislative terms would commence on January 1 after an election instead of hte first Monday in December after an election as currently required.

Shorter Legislative Sessions. Under this measure, most legislative business would be conducted during about a four-month period running from the beginning of March through July. Current law and legislative practice is for the Legislature to conduct its sessions over an eight- to ten-month period.

After April 15 of each year, no Member could introduce more than five additional bills in addition to the number he or she had already introduced. Moreover, no bill could be introduced by a legislator after the April 15 date without the consent of three-fourths of that Member's house.

This measure would also end the practice of conducting two-year legislative sessions, by which bills introduced in an odd-numbered year may be carried over and considered by Members during the following even-numbered year. Under this measure, the legislative process would begin anew each year for all bills.

Voter Approval of Salary Increases. This measure would require voter approval in a statewide election of any future salary increases recommended by an existing state commission for certain state officers (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Treasurer, Members of the Board of Equalization, and Members of the Legislature). The commission can now approve salary increases for these state officers on its own authority without voter ratification. This initiative would allow the commission to place a salary increase measure on the statewide ballot.

This proposed initiative would eliminate the salary supplement provided to state legislative leaders, and instead pay them the same amount of money all other legislators receive.

Restrictions on Legislative Expenses. Finally, this measure would restrict or eliminate reimbursement of legislators and legislative staff for certain expenses. Specifically, legislators could no longer receive a "per diem" alowance to offset the costs of living expenses while attending legislative sessions. Additionally, legislators would no longer be reimbursed for any travel except for travel to and from the Capitol for attending sessions. Legislators and legislative staff would no longer be reimbursed for the cost of providing a vehicle for their use. And public funds could not be used to remodel a legislator's office more than once during his or her term of office except to repair damage.

Fiscal Effect
The 1997-98 budget for the California Legislature is about $149 million. This measure could result in potential annual savings of several million dollars due to the elimination of "per diem" payments and limitations on expenses for travel, vehicles, and remodeling of offices. In addition, reducing the length of legislative sessions could result in unknown state savings.

The initiative provision requiring statewide voter ratification of pay increases for state officers could result in unknown state savings if the new requirement either (1) deterred the salary-setting commission from proposing a salary increase or (2) the voters disapproved a salary increase proposed by the commission. The provision in this measure eliminating the supplemental pay provided for legislative leaders would result in minor annual savings.

The savings resulting from this measure could be partly offset by certain additional state costs. Placing a salary increase measure for state officers on the ballot would result in at least $200,000 in state election costs. In addition, the proposed revisions in the term-limits law could result in minor state costs to track the eligibility of candidates to seek state legislative office.

Summary
In summary, taking both the costs and savings discussed above into account, we conclude that this measure could result in unknown net savings to the state, probably millions of dollars annually.


Initiative Text

This initiative measure is submitted to the People of California in accordance with the provisions of Article II of Section 8 of the California State Constitution.

This initiave measure expressely amends the Constitution by amending sections thereof; therefore, existing provisions proposed to be deleted are printed in strikeout type and new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate they are new.

PROPOSED TEXT

SECTION 1. TITLE

This initiative amendment shall be known and may be cited as the "California Public Accountability Amendment."

SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND DECLARATION
The People of California find that:
(a) They have lost confidence in their elected representatives.
(b) Their representatives have become entrenched within a political elite, distanced from the people they serve.
(c) Their representatives have become full-time politicians, removed from the communities they serve.
(d) Their representatives have enjoyed excessive benefits and perquisits which are paid for by the people.
Therefore, the People of California declare their intention to:
(a) Limit the terms of office of the Members of the State Legislature.
(b) Limit the duration of the legislative session and restore the part-time session to the Legislature.
(c) Limit the compensation paid to Members of the Legislature and require public approval of any future increases.

SECTION 3. TERM LIMITS
That subdivision (a) of Section 2 of Article IV is amended to read:
SEC. 2. (a) The Senate has a membership of 40 Senators elected for 4-year terms. 20 to begin every 2 years. No Senator may serve more than 2 terms.
The Assembly has a membership of 80 members elected for 2-year terms. No member of the Assembly may serve more than 3 4 terms. No Member of the Legislature may run for the same State Legislative House upon reaching their term limitation until 8 years after the last term served by that Member. No Member upon reaching their term limitation in both houses may run as a Member of either State Legislative House until 8 years after the last term served. A Legislator that is elected to one house and serves less than the time of their term limitation may return to the house to complete the remainder of the original limit and upon completing their term limitation may not run as a Member of the Legislature until 8 years after the completion of the last term. There is no lifetime ban to prevent a return to the Legislature. Their terms shall commence on the first Monday in December January 1 next following their election.

SECTION 4. LEGISLATIVE SESSION
SEC. 3. (a) The legislature shall convene in regular session at noon on the first Monday in December at noon on January 3 of each even-numbered year, or if that date is a Saturday or Sunday, than on the next day that is not a Saturday or Sunday, and each house shall immediately shall organize. The Legislature shall convene in regular session at noon on March 1 of each year or, if that date is a Saturday or Sunday, than the next day that is not a Saturday or Sunday. During each regular session, the Legislature may adjourn in joint recess for a period not to exceed 30 calendar days. A bill shall be introduced in either house only following the organization of the Legislature. After April 15, no bill shall be introduced in either house without the consent of three-fourths of the membership of that house, nor shall more than five bills be introduced by any Member of the Legislature. The Legislature shall not meet in regular session after July 2 except to reconsider, on or before July 31, one or more bills returned by the Governor. Each session of the Legislature shall adjourn sine die by operation of the Constitution at midnight on November 30 of the following even-numbered that year.

(b) On extraordinary occasions, the Governor by proclamation may cause the Legislature to assemble in special session. When so assembled it has the power to legislate only on subjects specified in the proclamation but may provide for operating expenses and other matters incidental to the session.

SECTION 5. CALIFORNIA CITIZENS COMPENSATION COMMISSION
That subdivision (a) of Section 8 of Article III is amended to read:
SEC. 8. (a) The California Citizens Compensation Commission is hereby created and shall consist of seven members appointed by the Governor. The commission shall establish propose the annual salary and of state officers as specified by this section, and shall establish the medical, dental, insurance, and other similar benefits of state officers.

SECTION 6. COMPENSATION AND PUBLIC APPROVAL
That subdivisions (g), (h), and (i) of Section 8 of Article III are amended to read:
(g) (1) On or before December 3, 1990, the commission shall, by a single resolution adopted by a majority of the membership of the commission, establish the annual salary and the medical, dental, insurance, and other similar benefits of state officers. The annual salary and benefits specified in that resolution shall be effective on and after December 3, 1990.
Thereafter, at or before the end of each fiscal year, the commission shall, by a single resolution adopted by a majority of the membership of the commission, adjust the annual salary and the medical, dental, insurance, and other similar benefits of state officers. The annual salary and benefits specified in the resolution shall be effective on and after the first Monday of the next December. January 1 next following.
(2) On and after the operative date of this paragraph, the annual salary of each Member of the Legislature shall be the current base salary, subject to adjustment pursuant to paragraph (3).
(3) On and after the operative date of this date paragraph, the commission may propose the adjustment of the annual salary of state officers by adopting, by a majority of the membership of the commission, a resolution proposing that adjustment. That resolution shall be submitted to the voters at the next statewide election in accordance with applicable statutes governing the submission of statewide measures to the voters and, if approved by a majority of the voters thereon, shall take effect the day after the election.

(h) In establishing or adjusting the proposing the adjustment of the annual salary and the establishing or adjusting the medical, dental, insurance, and other similar benefits, the commission shall consider all of the following:
(1) The amount of time directly or indirectly related to the performance of the duties, functions, and services of a state officer.
(2) The amount of the annual salary and the medical, dental, insurance, and other similar benefits for other elected and appointed officers and officials in this State with comparable responsibilities, the judiciary, and to the extent practicable, the private sector, recognizing, however, that state officers do not receive, and do not expect to receive, compensation at the same levels as individuals in the private sector with comparable experience and responsibilities.
(3) The responsibility and scope of authority of the entity in which the state officer serves.
(i) Until a resolution establishing or adjusting the annual salary and the medical, dental, insurance, and other similar benefits for state officers takes effect, each state officer shall continue to receive the same annual salary and the medical, dental, insurance, and other similar benefits received previously.

SECTION 7. DEFINITION OF STATE OFFICER
That subdivision (l) of Section 8 of Article III is amended to read:
"State Officer," "State Officer," as used in this section, means the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Treasurer, Member of the State Board of Equalization, and Member of the Legislature.

. SECTION 8. PERQUISITE EXPENSES
That subdivision (b) of Section 4 of Article IV is amended to read:
(b) (1) Travel and living expenses for Members of the Legislature in connection with their official duties shall be prescribed by statute passes by rollcall vote entered in the journal, two-thirds of the membership of each house concurring. A Member may not receive travel and living expenses during the times that the Legislature is in recess for more than three calendar days, unless the Member is traveling to or from, or is in attendance at, any meeting of a committee of which he or she is a Member, or a meeting, conference, or other legislative function or responsibility as authorized by the rules of the house of which he or she is a member, which is held at a location at least 20 miles from his or her place of residence. No public funds may be expended to provide per diem, travel or living expenses for Members of the Legislature in connection with their official duties. For purposes of this subdivision, "living expenses" means lodging and incidental expenses, but does not include any cost incurred for meals. Also, travel expenses can only be utilized for travel to and from the Capitol for the purpose of attending sessions. No public funds shall be expended for the cost of providing a vehicle for the use of any Member or employee of the Legislature.

SECTION 9. REMODELING EXPENSES
That Section 7.7 is added to Article IV to read:
SEC 7.7. Public funds may be expended to pay for the cost of remodeling an office occupied by any Member of the Legislature no more frequently than once during any term of office to which that member is elected, except to the extent neccessary to repair damage resulting from a cause not within control of the Legislature.

SECTION 10. AMENDMENT AND SEVERABILITY
The amendments contained in this measure may not be amended by the Legislature except to further its purposes by Constitutional Amendment passed in each house by rollcall vote entered in the journal, two-thirds of the membership concurring, and than the Constitutional Amendment shall become effective only when and after being approved by the voters and, or, through the use of initiative.
In the event that any portion of this amendment or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, that invalidity shall not effect any other provision or application of the initiative, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to that end the provisions of this amendment are severable.

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