Initiatives and Referenda Cleared for Circulation

The Attorney General prepares a circulating title and summary of the chief purpose and points of a proposed initiative measure. Proposed initiative measures are cleared for circulation on the day the circulating title and summary is sent to the initiative proponent(s). No petition may be circulated for signatures before it has been cleared to do so by the Attorney General.

Please note: Counties have 8 working days after a proposed initiative measure's circulation deadline (Elections Code section 9030 (b)) to notify the Secretary of State's Office if any petition signatures were received. If no signatures are submitted, a proposed initiative measure will fail on the 9th working day after its circulation deadline.


1795. (16-0011A1)
California Nationhood. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Summary Date: 01/26/17 | Circulation Deadline: 07/25/17 | Signatures Required: 585,407
Proponent: Marcus Evans

Repeals provision in California Constitution stating California is an inseparable part of the United States and that the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Places question of whether California should become a separate country on a future ballot. Treats result of such future vote as declaration of independence from the United States if 50 percent of registered voters participate and 55 percent of those voting approve. Requires Governor to request California admission to the United Nations if voters approve independence. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: The fiscal impact of this measure is dependent on various factors, including a vote by the people on this measure, a subsequent vote on California independence, possible legal challenges, and implementation issues. Assuming that California actually became an independent nation, the state and its local governments would experience major, but unknown, budgetary impacts. This measure also would result in tens of millions of dollars of one-time state and local election costs. (16-0011.)

1796. (16-0012)
Electoral Votes. Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidates. Initiative Advisory Question.
Summary Date: 03/03/17 | Circulation Deadline: 08/30/17 | Signatures Required: 365,880
Proponent: Rodrigo J. Howard (650) 208-3779

Asks voters whether California’s elected officials should use their authority to cause the President and Vice President of the United States to be elected according to the outcome of the national popular vote. Suggests actions such as proposal and ratification of an amendment to the federal Constitution to eliminate or modify the Electoral College process; approval and adoption of interstate compacts regarding the allocation of state electors; proposal and adoption of other related legislation; and pursuit of related litigation. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: No direct fiscal effect on state and local governments. (16-0012.)

1797. (17-0001)

Child Custody Determinations. Jury Trial. Initiative Statute. 
Summary Date: 03/10/17 | Circulation Deadline: 09/06/17 | Signatures Required: 365,880
Proponent: Wylmina Hettinga, Jaime Lewis, Jaslynn Ball  (805) 439-4197

Gives parties in child custody matters the right to demand that a jury, rather than judge, determine who receives the physical and legal custody of the child. Prohibits the judge from rejecting a jury’s child custody decision. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Unknown ongoing net fiscal impact on state courts that would depend significantly on (1) how the measure is interpreted and implemented by the courts and (2) how individuals respond to the ability to demand a jury trial in child custody cases. (17-0001.)


*Elections Code section 9034 requires that once proponent(s) of a proposed initiative measure have gathered 25% of the number of signatures required (currently 91,740 for an initiative statute and 146,352 for a constitutional amendment) proponent(s) must immediately certify that they have done so under penalty of perjury to the Secretary of State. 

Upon receipt of the certification, the Secretary of State must provide copies of the proposed initiative measure and the circulating title and summary to the Senate and the Assembly. Each house is required to assign the proposed initiative measure to its appropriate committees and hold joint public hearings, at least 131 days before the date of the election at which the measure is to be voted on. However, the Legislature cannot amend the proposed initiative measure or prevent it from appearing on the ballot.