BILL ANALYSIS Ó Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Kevin de León, Chair SB 213 (Galgiani) - Petition Circulators Amended: As Introduced Policy Vote: E&CA 4-0 Jud 7-0 Urgency: No Mandate: No Hearing Date: May 23, 2013 Consultant: Maureen Ortiz SUSPENSE FILE. AS PROPOSED TO BE AMENDED Bill Summary: SB 213 authorizes non-residents of California to circulate state or local ballot measures, recall petitions, or nominating papers for purposes of gathering signatures. Fiscal Impact: The Secretary of State anticipates minor, absorbable costs General) Background: Existing law requires a person to be a voter or to be qualified to register to vote in California in order to circulate an initiative, referendum, or recall petitions and nominating papers. Whenever a petition or paper is submitted to the elections official, each section of the petition or paper must have attached to it a declaration signed by the circulator with the following information: 1) the printed name of the circulator, 2) the resident address of the circulator, and 3) the dates between which all the signatures to the petition were obtained. Additionally, each declaration must include a provision that the circulator witnessed the signatures being written, and that each signature is genuine to the best of the circulator's knowledge. In 2008, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in the case of Nader v. Brewer (1998) 531 F.3d 1028, struck down an Arizona statute that, among other things, required circulators of petitions to be residents of Arizona citing First Amendment rights. Since that decision, several California counties have been sued for this state's residency requirement for petition circulators. Proposed Law: SB 213 conforms California law to comply to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in 2008 in Nader v. Brewer SB 213 (Galgiani) Page 1 which ruled it was unconstitutional for states to prevent non-residents from circulating a state or local ballot, measure, recall petition, or nominating papers for signature. SB 213 will require out-of-state circulators to file an irrevocable consent that suits and actions may be filed against them in California courts by the service on the Secretary of State. This consent shall stipulate that the service of summons, process, or pleadings on the Secretary of State shall be taken and held in all courts to be valid and binding as if due service had been made upon the circulator personally in the state. The Secretary of State will be required to forward court documents by certified mail addressed to the non-resident circulator at the circulator's last known address. The circulator will have at least 40 days from the date of the mailing to answer the summons, process, or pleading. Additionally, California courts will be required to hold any service of summons made upon the Secretary of State to be valid and binding, as if due service had been made on the circulator personally in this state. Staff Comments: SB 213 will conform California law to a recent Supreme Court ruling so that non-residents will no longer be barred from circulating election petitions in California provided they comply with the age requirement and consent to suits, actions, and service of processes in California. This will enable California to enforce its election laws in instances when the circulator lives outside the state. AMEND PER AUTHOR: Author's amendments remove the requirement that out-of-state circulators file an irrevocable consent with the Secretary of State.