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January 13, 2012

Contact: Nicole Winger
(916) 653-6575

Environment-Related Initiative Enters Circulation

Voting Requirement. Polluter Fees. 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:

VOTING REQUIREMENT. POLLUTER FEES. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Permits the Legislature to pass by majority vote, rather than two-thirds, laws imposing fees, penalties and charges on activities that pollute the air or water, damage public natural resources or harm public health. Requires the State spend the funds raised under the laws only on mitigation of actual or anticipated impacts, including enforcement costs and costs to reduce or prevent future impacts from the pollution or activity. Requires the amount of any fee, penalty or charge be reasonably related to the costs of mitigation. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potential increase in state revenues, likely ranging in the tens of millions of dollars to the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually, depending on future actions of the Legislature. The revenues would be used to increase state spending on mitigation activities. (11-0079.)

The Secretary of State's tracking number for this measure is 1549 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 11-0079.

The proponent for this measure, Joseph Caves, 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 June 11, 2012.

No public contact information was provided by the proponent.

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