Democrats, Republicans and Independents agree it's time to PUT VOTERS FIRST, NOT SPECIAL INTERESTS.
THAT'S WHY DIVERSE GROUPS LIKE the League of Women Voters of California, California Chamber of Commerce, California State Conference of the NAACP, Latin Business Association, California Common Cause, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, League of California Cities, California Forward, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, California Planning and Conservation League, and many others, URGE YOU TO VOTE "YES" ON PROP. 54.
PROP. 54 WILL:
• Require every bill to be posted online and distributed to lawmakers at least 72 hours before each house of the Legislature is permitted to vote on it (except when the Governor declares an emergency). • Prohibit any bill passed in violation of this 72‐hour requirement from becoming law. • Make audiovisual recordings of ALL public legislative meetings. • Post those recordings online within 24 hours, to remain online for at least 20 years. • Guarantee the right of every person to also record and broadcast any open legislative meetings. • Require NO new taxpayer money. The Legislature's existing budget will cover this measure's minor costs.
Proposition 54 makes our state government more transparent by STOPPING THE PRACTICE OF WRITING LAWS PROMOTED BY SPECIAL INTERESTS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS AND PASSING THEM WITH LITTLE DEBATE OR REVIEW.
"We have long opposed the California Legislature's practice of making last minute changes to proposed laws before legislators, the press, and the public have had a chance to read and understand them. Such practices make a mockery of democracy."—Peter Scheer, FIRST AMENDMENT COALITION
"Proposition 54 gives all people the opportunity to review, debate, and contribute to the laws that impact us all."—Alice Huffman, CALIFORNIA STATE CONFERENCE OF THE NAACP
Proposition 54 will stop the immediate passage of legislation that has been "gutted and amended"—a practice that replaces, at the last minute, every word of a bill with new, complex language secretly written by special interests, thereby making major policy changes with no public input.
"Proposition 54 finally gives voters the upper hand, not the special interests, and improves the way business is done at our State Capitol."—Ruben Guerra, LATIN BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
Special interests and the political establishment fear voters might track from home what happens in the Legislature's public meetings. Sacramento lobbyists don't believe the people can be trusted with this information—or with time to act on it.
Yet sixty‐nine California cities representing 15 million people, and thirty‐seven county boards of supervisors representing 27 million people, already post recordings of their meetings online.
Our Legislature should catch up.
"Proposition 54 will create a more open, honest, and accountable government. It's time to give voters a voice in the political process."—Kathay Feng, CALIFORNIA COMMON CAUSE
CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF at YesProp54.org. YES ON PROP. 54 is supported by good government, minority, taxpayer, and small business groups, seniors, and voters from every walk of life, every political persuasion, and every corner of the state.
PROPOSITION 54 was written by constitutional scholars and has been carefully reviewed and vetted by good government organizations who all agree Prop. 54 will increase transparency. That's why special interests vigorously oppose it.
PROPOSITION 54 will reduce special interest influence by ensuring every proposed new law is subject to public review and comment BEFORE legislators vote on it.
Vote YES on Proposition 54.
HELEN HUTCHISON, President
League of Women Voters of California
HOWARD PENN, Executive Director
California Planning and Conservation League
ALLAN ZAREMBERG, President
California Chamber of Commerce
BIG MONEY IS BEHIND PROP. 54: DON'T BE FOOLED
Just look at its main backer: the California Chamber of Commerce. This group—whose members include big oil, tobacco and drug companies—spent a record‐shattering $4.3 MILLION lobbying the Legislature last year, according to the Secretary of State.
Prop. 54 will give these special interests even MORE power in Sacramento.
That's the reason one billionaire, backed by big, out‐of‐state corporations, is bankrolling Prop. 54.
STAND UP TO BIG MONEY. VOTE NO ON PROP. 54.
California's most significant achievements often occur when our elected representatives come to the table willing to find areas of compromise. Sometimes, powerful special interests don't get everything they want.
One example is the bipartisan 2009 state budget agreement, historic action that saved California from bankruptcy. That bipartisan compromise was updated through the final hours prior to the vote. It earned the four Legislative Leaders that negotiated it the prestigious "Profiles in Courage Award" from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
If Prop. 54 was in place, California might well have gone bankrupt.
The Legislature needs to work better, not be hamstrung by red tape. Prop. 54 unnecessarily requires the Legislature to wait 3 days before passing a measure in its "second house," allowing special interests to defeat it.
California's legislative work is transparent. Any citizen, at any time, can view any bill via the Internet. Audio and video is online free of charge.
VOTE NO ON PROP. 54. STOP THE SPECIAL INTEREST POWER GRAB.
ART TORRES, State Senator (Retired)
California National Organization for Women (NOW)
STEVE HANSEN, City Council Member
City of Sacramento
Proposition 54 is on your ballot solely because one California billionaire, after spending millions of dollars trying to influence California policy and elections, is now using our citizen initiative process to pursue his own political agenda.
What is Prop. 54? It is a complicated measure that introduces unnecessary new restrictions on the way laws are crafted by the Legislature. It empowers special interests under the guise of "transparency."
Rather than promoting accountability, Prop. 54 will slow down the ability for legislators to develop bipartisan solutions to our state's most pressing problems.
For example, many bipartisan balanced budget agreements, the Fair Housing Act (which ended housing discrimination), and last year's bond measure to address California's drought likely never would have happened if this measure had been enacted.
Prop. 54 will throw a monkey wrench into the ability of our elected officials to get things done. It will give special interests more power to thwart the will of our elected officials. It makes it more difficult to address state emergencies.
DON'T GIVE SPECIAL INTERESTS EVEN MORE POWER. VOTE NO ON PROP. 54.
While it sounds good, requiring the Legislature to wait three days before voting on a bill will give powerful lobbyists and well‐funded special interests time to launch campaigns to attack bipartisan compromises. Special interests already have too much power in Sacramento. Prop. 54 will give them more.
PROP. 54 WILL CAUSE UNNECESSARY DELAYS
Anytime a comma is changed in a bill, lawmakers will now be forced to wait three days to vote on it. That will mean unnecessary delays.
PROP. 54 WILL INCREASE POLITICAL ATTACK ADS
Current law prohibits the use of Legislative proceedings in political campaign ads. Prop. 54 eliminates that rule, paving the way for millions of dollars in ugly campaign attack ads that will flood your screen before each election.
DON'T LET A BILLIONAIRE REWRITE CALIFORNIA'S CONSTITUTION FOR POLITICAL GAIN.
Who's behind this measure? Charles Munger, Jr.—a billionaire with a long history of contributing millions to candidates that oppose increased education funding, the minimum wage, plans to make higher education more affordable, and other progressive issues—is the only donor to Prop. 54. He has spent more than $5.5 million to put this measure on the ballot.
Don't let a single wealthy Californian bypass the Legislature to rewrite our state's constitution to his own liking. Even the California Newspaper Publishers Association, which supports many of the concepts in this measure, has told the Capitol Weekly newspaper, it "doesn't feel the initiative process is a good way to deal with public policy."
Prop. 54 is opposed by the California Democratic Party, dozens of elected officials, environmental, labor, and other groups.
Vote NO on Prop. 54. Get the facts on www.No0nProposition54.com and follow us on Twitter @NoProp54
Californians for an Effective Legislature
A bill every legislator and every Californian has had 72 hours to read will be a better bill than one that they haven't.
This shouldn't be a partisan question: it's just common sense.
In 2006 then‐Senator Barack Obama sponsored, and then‐Senator Hillary Clinton co‐sponsored, the "Curtailing Lobbyist Effectiveness Through Advance Notification, Updates, and Posting Act," or "CLEAN UP Act," which called for each bill in the U.S. Senate to be "available to all Members and made available to the general public by means of the Internet for at least 72 hours before its consideration".
What would work for the U.S. Senate, will work for the California Legislature.
That is why PROP. 54 IS ENDORSED BY A LARGE BIPARTISAN COALITION including the League of Women Voters of California, California Common Cause, California State Conference of the NAACP, League of California Cities, California Chamber of Commerce, Californians Aware, First Amendment Coalition, California Forward, Planning and Conservation League, California Black Chamber of Commerce, California Business Roundtable, National Federation of Independent Business/California, Latin Business Association of California, Hispanic 100, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, California Taxpayers Association, Small Business Action Committee, San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP, Monterey County Business Council, and the Los Angeles Area, San Francisco and Fresno Chambers of Commerce.
As the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE declared about Prop. 54, "Let the record also show that this was no partisan effort. Its advocates include a long list of respected reform groups such as Common Cause, California Forward and the League of Women Voters."
Special interests sit through every committee meeting in Sacramento. They already know what bills live and die and why, and who votes with a special interest or against it. The way to level the playing field is to record the public meetings and post them online. Then we too will know.
Prop. 54 requires no new tax money. Prop. 54’s minor costs come out of the Legislature’s operating budget.
To learn more, see YesProp54.org.
Vote YES on Prop. 54.
TERESA CASAZZA, President
California Taxpayers Association
TOM SCOTT, State Executive Director
National Federation of Independent Business/California
KATHAY FENG, Executive Director
California Common Cause
Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors, and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.