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November 2, 2017
SOS Press Office
(916) 653-6575

Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation

Creation of New University of California Online. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.


SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the proponent of a new initiative was cleared to begin collecting petition signatures yesterday. 

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, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows: 

CREATION OF NEW UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA ONLINE. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Requires creation of new, online public university named University of California Online. Authorizes free public not-for-credit access to all University of California Online course materials, programs, and digital libraries. Authorizes for-credit enrollment in all University of California Online courses and degree programs for all who apply. University of California Online tuition shall be at cost, including course books and materials, with an additional fee for out-of-state students. Requires creation of University of California Online Bookstore to sell and buy-back textbooks for all California public university and college courses. Requires State Treasurer to issue bonds to fund University of California Online, to be repaid by University of California Online from tuition and fees. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Costs for a new online university, potentially up to hundreds of millions of dollars annually at full scale. Costs intended to be covered by tuition and fees charged to enrolled students. Potential other fiscal impacts on the state—costs and savings— depending on various factors, including initial student demand for the new online university, enrollment fluctuations at the online university, the impact of the online university on existing public colleges and universities, and changes in state financial aid costs. (17-0025.) 

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1822 and the Attorney General’s tracking number is 17-0025. 

The proponent of the measure, Boyd Roberts, must collect the signatures of 585,407 registered voters (eight percent of the total votes cast for Governor in the November 2014 general election) in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponent has 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials no later than April 30, 2018. The proponent can be reached at No phone number was provided. 


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