MOORLACH UPDATE — Admission Day — September 8, 2017

The sad trend up here in Sacramento is the high number of bills that are voted on according to party lines. Sometimes there are bills where this does not occur. Assembly Bill 469 is one of them. It shows that on occasion, both Republicans and Democrats can be independent thinkers and vote contrary to their respective herds.

I have to admit that gathering signatures in lieu of the filing fee has been a mixed bag for me. So much so, that I have dropped doing it. After time spent putting together logistics and organizing volunteers, it ends up cheaper to pay the fee. I have seen embarrassing moments when a candidate has gathered all of the signatures, only to find out they were submitted too late or well-meaning volunteers made mistakes that invalidate the signatures. And, to add insult to injury, the in lieu signatures do not qualify as signatures required to qualify a candidate to be considered for the ballot. This simple procedure is fraught with complexities.

Although AB 469 was not a perfect bill, with empathy to those who have struggled and been tripped up over the current system, I voted in favor. Ballot Access News provides the details in their piece below.

P.S. Let me wish you a Happy Admission Day, as tomorrow is the 167th anniversary of California’s being admitted as the 31st state into the Union.

California Senate Passes Bill That Lowers Number of Signatures for Petition in Lieu of Filing Fee

Posted by Richard Winger

On September 7, the California Senate passed AB 469 by 30-10. It lowers the number of signatures in lieu of the filing fee. For statewide office, the number falls from 10,000 to 7,000. For U.S. House and State Senate, from 3,000 to 2,000. For Assembly, from 1,500 to 1,000.

The bill also lowers the petition for non-partisan office as well. Current law values four signatures as worth $1 deducted from the filing fee. The bill changes that formula so that three signatures are worth $1.

Mostly, Democrats voted for the bill and Republicans voted against it. One Democrat, Senator Bill Monning, voted “No.” Four Republicans voted yes: Joel Anderson, Anthony Cannella, John Moorlach, and Scott Wilk.

The bill does delete the ability of candidates to submit one petition in lieu of filing fee, and later after the signatures are checked, to submit a supplemental petition. But it makes it possible for the petition in lieu of the filing fee to start 15 days earlier than it was previously allowed to circulate.

Although the bill already passed the Assembly once, the Senate amended it, so it must return to the Assembly next week. It has an urgency clause so needs two-thirds in each house. Of course it already got over two-thirds in each house, each time it was voted on.


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