California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 535

Introduced by Assembly Member Grove

February 23, 2015

An act to amend Section 9051 of the Elections Code, relating to initiative measures.


AB 535, as introduced, Grove. Initiatives: ballot title and summary.

Existing law requires the Attorney General to provide a ballot label and a ballot title for each measure to be submitted to the voters at a statewide election. Existing law requires the Attorney General to prepare a summary of the chief purposes and points of each statewide ballot measure as part of the ballot title.

This bill would impose specified requirements with respect to the content of the ballot title and summary required to be prepared by the Attorney General.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P1    1


Section 9051 of the Elections Code is amended
2to read:



(a) (1) The ballot title and summary may differ from
4the legislative, circulating, or other title and summary of the
5measure and shall not exceed 100 words, not including the fiscal
6impact statement.

P2    1(2) The ballot title and summary shall include a summary of the
2Legislative Analyst’s estimate of the net state and local government
3fiscal impact prepared pursuant to Section 9087 of this code and
4Section 88003 of the Government Code.

5(b) The ballot label shall not contain more than 75 words and
6shall be a condensed version of the ballot title and summary
7including the financial impact summary prepared pursuant to
8Section 9087 of this code and Section 88003 of the Government

10(c) In providing the ballot title and summary, the Attorney
11General shall give a true and impartial statement of the purpose
12of the measure in such language that the ballot title and summary
13shall neither be an argument, nor be likely to create prejudice, for
14or against the proposed measure.begin insert The ballot title and summary
15shall also satisfy all of the following:end insert

begin insert

16(1) Be written in clear and concise terms, understandable to
17the average voter, and in an objective and nonpartisan manner,
18avoiding the use of technical terms whenever possible.

end insert
begin insert

19(2) If the measure imposes or increases a tax or fee, the type
20and amount of the tax or fee shall be described.

end insert
begin insert

21(3) If the measure repeals existing law in any substantial
22manner, that fact shall be included.

end insert
begin insert

23(4) If the measure is contingent on the passage or defeat of
24another measure or statute, that fact shall be included.

end insert
begin insert

25(d) The Legislature shall provide the Attorney General with
26sufficient funding for administrative and other support relating to
27preparation of the ballot title and summary for initiative measures,
28including, but not limited to, plain-language specialists.

end insert
begin delete


end delete

30begin insert(e)end insert The Attorney General shall invite and consider public
31comment in preparing each ballot title and summary.