BILL NUMBER: AB 78 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Mendoza JANUARY 3, 2011 An act to submit an advisory question to the voters relating to immigration, calling an election, to take effect immediately. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AB 78, as introduced, Mendoza. Immigration: advisory election. This bill would, notwithstanding existing provisions of law relating to elections, call an election for the purpose of placing before the voters of the state an advisory question asking whether the President and the Congress of the United States shall create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have worked in this country for at least 5 years, have no felony convictions, have learned to speak English, and have paid all taxes for which they are responsible. The bill would require the Secretary of State to communicate the results of this election to the President and consolidate this election with the statewide direct primary election of June 5, 2012. By increasing the duties of local elections officials for an election on the advisory question, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions. This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an act calling for an election. Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) Immigrants are a vibrant, productive, and vital part of California's growing economy, diverse cultural fabric, and changing demographics. (b) Immigrants and their children comprise nearly one-half of California's population and live and work in all 58 counties, most notably in the San Diego, Central Valley, Los Angeles, and greater San Francisco Bay regions of the state. (c) Immigrants fuel California's economy through their labor and entrepreneurship, comprising approximately one-third of California's labor force and figuring prominently in key economic sectors such as agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and services. (d) A national debate is raging across the United States focused on how to fix our broken immigration system and this debate is tearing at the very core of our founding values. (e) This national discussion demands an intelligent, comprehensive, and balanced approach to immigration reform--one that recognizes that Americans want neither open borders, nor closed borders, but that they want the President and the Congress of the United States to work together to enact legislation that rewards work, reunites families, restores the rule of law, reinforces our nation's security, respects the rights of United States-born and immigrant workers, and redeems the "American Dream." (f) A bipartisan, comprehensive workable immigration reform package must be based on respect for human rights; a path towards permanent residency and citizenship; enforcement of border policies, protecting the wages and working conditions of all workers, whether United States-born or immigrant workers; reunification of families; and the promotion of citizenship and civic participation. SEC. 2. (a) Notwithstanding Section 9040 or 12000 of the Elections Code or any other provision of law, an election is hereby called for the purpose of placing before the voters of this state the following advisory question: Shall the President and the Congress of the United States of America create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have worked in the United States for at least five years, have no felony convictions, have learned to speak English, and have paid all taxes for which they are responsible? (b) Upon certification of the election, the Secretary of State shall communicate to President Barack Obama the results of the election asking the question set forth in subdivision (a). (c) The provisions of the Elections Code that apply to the preparation of ballot measures and ballot materials at a statewide election shall apply to the measure submitted pursuant to this section. (d) Notwithstanding Section 9040 of the Elections Code, the Secretary of State shall consolidate the election provided for in subdivision (a) with the statewide direct primary election to be held on June 5, 2012. SEC. 3. If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code. SEC. 4. This act calls an election within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect.