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May 26, 2011

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

Union Representation Initiative Enters Circulation

Secret Ballot. Restrictions on Employees Seeking
Labor Representation. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced that the proponent of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures for his measure.

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Attorney General's official title and summary for the measure is as follows:

SECRET BALLOT. RESTRICTIONS ON EMPLOYEES SEEKING LABOR REPRESENTATION. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Amends state Constitution to eliminate employees’ option to designate union representation by proving majority support to their employer. Would require formal secret ballot election for any designation of labor representation. Restates existing Constitutional guarantee of vote by secret ballot in elections for public office and upon an initiative or referendum. Adds that secret ballot is a fundamental right. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potential increased costs on state and local governments. These costs are not known, but probably would not be significant. (11-0005.)

The Secretary of State's tracking number for this measure is 1486 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 11-0005.

The proponent for this measure, Alek Bohigian, must collect signatures of 807,615 registered voters – the number equal to eight percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election – in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponent has 150 days to circulate petitions for this measure, meaning the signatures must be collected by October 24, 2011.

The initiative proponent can be reached at (559) 760-5233.

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