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.


1852. (18-0001)
Requires a Vote in 2021 on Whether California Should Become an Independent Country. Initiative Statute.
Summary Date: 04/20/18 | Circulation Deadline: 10/17/18 | Signatures Required: 365,880
Proponents: Marcus Ruiz Evans (415) 595-3394 and Louis J. Marinelli (916) 524-0631

Requires a special election in May 2021 to ask voters whether California should become an independent country, in the form of a republic. If approved by a majority of voters, requires the Legislature to declare California’s independence from the United States. Requires California to invite and encourage international election monitors to observe and monitor the measure, including the voting process, collection of ballots, and certification of results. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potential one-time state and local costs in the tens of millions of dollars to hold a statewide special election. (18-0001.)

1853. (18-0002)
Requires Use of State and Local Law-Enforcement Resources for Federal Immigration Purposes. Restricts Voter Registration Process. Initiative Statute. 
Summary Date: 06/22/18 | Circulation Deadline: 12/19/18 | Signatures Required: 365,880
Proponents: Donald Rosenberg c/o Ravi Mehta

Requires state and local law enforcement to attempt to verify the immigration status of arrestees suspected of being in United States without documentation and notify federal and state agencies when arrestees appear to be undocumented. Prohibits local governments and law-enforcement agencies from preventing or limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities. Sets criminal penalties and minimum $10,000 fines for noncompliance. Prohibits automatic voter registration; requires an affidavit for voter eligibility. Prohibits issuing driver’s license or identification card without verifying citizenship or immigration status. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net increase in state and local law enforcement costs, potentially reaching the low tens of millions of dollars annually, related to cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. One-time and ongoing costs—each potentially reaching several million dollars annually—to state and local governments for the verification and retention of proof of citizenship prior to individuals voting in their first election. (18-0002.)

1854. (18-0003A1)
Allow New Types of Gambling in California. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. 
Summary Date: 08/16/18 | Circulation Deadline: 02/13/19 | Signatures Required: 585,407
Proponents: Russell Lowery (916) 710-2872

Allows federally recognized Native American tribes to operate roulette and craps games on tribal lands, subject to compacts negotiated by the Governor and ratified by the Legislature. Allows licensed gambling establishments, such as card rooms, to conduct on-site sports wagering and to operate Nevada-style card games, and may result in authorization of sports wagering on tribal lands because of federal law. Prohibits Governor from approving gaming on newly acquired off-reservation tribal lands and negotiating gaming compacts with non-federally recognized tribes. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Unclear net fiscal impact, as it would depend primarily on how the measure is interpreted and implemented as well as the extent to which businesses and members of the public participate in the new gaming activities. (18-0003).

1855. (18-0004A1)
Establishes Public Health Fund by Enacting Dedicated Statewide Tax on Distribution of Sugar-Sweetened Drinks. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. 
Summary Date: 09/06/18 | Circulation Deadline: 03/04/19 | Signatures Required: 585,407
Proponents: Dustin Corcoran, Carrie Gordon

Creates a fund for public health programs to prevent, treat, and research obesity, diabetes, dental diseases, and other diseases linked to sugar-sweetened beverages, and to increase access to healthy food and drinks. Enacts a dedicated statewide tax on distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages ($0.02 per fluid ounce). Exempts specified beverages from tax—including milk, juice, infant formula, medical beverages, and low-sugar drinks. Requires audit of fund expenditures. Amends Constitution to allow new local taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Increased state revenues starting in 2021-22. Annual revenues would be roughly $2 billion to $3 billion by 2022-23. The measure designates these revenues for health care; disease prevention; disease research; and access to fruit, vegetables, and water. (18-0004)

1856. (18-0009)
Referendum to Overturn a 2018 Law that Replaced Money Bail System with a System Based on Public Safety Risk.  
Summary Date: 09/10/18 | Circulation Deadline: 11/26/18 | Signatures Required: 365,880
Proponents: Thomas W. Hiltachk

If this petition is signed by the required number of registered voters and timely filed, a referendum will be placed on the next statewide ballot requiring a majority of voters to approve a 2018 state law before it can take effect. The 2018 law replaces the money bail system with a system for pretrial release from jail based on a determination of public safety or flight risk, and limits pretrial detention for most misdemeanors. (18-0009)



*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.