Amended in Senate July 9, 2015

Senate Constitutional AmendmentNo. 8


Introduced by Senator Mendoza

(Coauthors: Senators Beall, De León, Hueso, McGuire, and Runner)

May 11, 2015


Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 8—A resolution to propose to the people of the State of California an amendment to the Constitution of the State, by amending Sections 1 and 4 of, and adding Section 4.5 to, Article XI, relating to counties.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SCA 8, as amended, Mendoza. begin deleteCharter counties: end deletebegin insertCounties: end insertboard of supervisors: redistricting.

The California Constitution requires that a county charter provide for a governing body of 5 or more members, elected (1) by district or, (2) at large, or (3) at large with a requirement that they reside in a district, and to provide for the compensation, terms, and removal of members of the governing body. The California Constitution also provides that charter counties are subject to statutes that relate to apportioning population of governing body districts. Existing law requires, following each decennial federal census and using that census as a basis, the board of supervisors of a county to adjust the boundaries of any or all of the supervisorial districts of the county so that the districts are as nearly equal in population as may be and comply with applicable provisions of federal law.

begin insert

Existing law also requires a general law county to have a board of supervisors consisting of 5 members, and requires, except as provided, each member of the board of supervisors to be elected by the district which the member represents.

end insert

This measure would require the county charter, in a county with a population of more than 2,000,000 at a decennial United States census beginning with the 2020 United States census, to provide for a governing body consisting of 7 or more members. The measure would also require in such a county, the county charter to provide that the expenditures for the governing body and its staff may not exceed, for any subsequent fiscal year, the lesser of the amount budgeted for that purpose for thebegin delete 2020-21end deletebegin insert 2020-21end insert fiscal year or the amount that has the same proportion to total county expenditures as the expenditures for that purpose had to the total county budget in thebegin delete 2020-21end deletebegin insert 2020-21end insert fiscal year.begin insert This measure would also extend these requirements to a general law county end insertbegin insertwith a population of more than 2,000,000 at a decennial United States census, beginning with the 2020 United States censusend insertbegin insert.end insert

This measure would require, on and after January 1, 2021, a county charter to provide for members to be elected by district with a requirement that the member reside in a districtbegin insert, and would impose that requirement on all general law countiesend insert.

As described above, the California Constitution requires that a county charter provide for the compensation of members of the governing body. The California Constitution also requires that, if a county charter provides for the Legislature to prescribe the salary of the governing body, the salary be prescribed by the governing body by ordinance.

This bill would repeal that latter provision on January 1, 2021.

This measure would also make other technical, nonsubstantive changes.

Vote: 23. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

P2    1WHEREAS, California’s counties are governed by elected
2members of a board ofbegin delete supervisors,end deletebegin insert supervisors;end insert and

3WHEREAS, The number of members of the board of supervisors
4in most counties has remained unchanged for more than a century
5despite enormous increases in the county’s population which, in
6some cases, are greater than the population of individual states in
7thebegin delete union,end deletebegin insert union;end insert and

8WHEREAS, It is a well-recognized principle that residents are
9more efficiently able to access their representatives for assistance
10for services and to hold them better accountable when the ratio of
11residents to each elected representative on a governing body is
12smaller rather thanbegin delete larger,end deletebegin insert larger;end insert and

P3    1WHEREAS, It is important to restrain the costs of governance
2by restricting the fiscal impact of any increase in the number of
3members of any county’s board ofbegin delete supervisors,end deletebegin insert supervisors;end insert and

4WHEREAS, It is therefore the intent of the people, in adopting
5this measure, to make all of the following changes with regard to
6the county board of supervisors in each county having a population
7of more than 2,000,000 at each decennial United States census:

8(a) To increase democratic representation by substantially
9reducing the population in each supervisorial district;

10(b) By establishing smaller supervisorial districts, to provide
11greater opportunities for public participation in local government
12that provide safety, health, transportation, and other vital services;

13(c) In order to control the size of government, reduce
14unnecessary expenditures, and increase efficiency through smaller
15 supervisorial districts, to reduce the office budgets currently
16allocated for each member of the board of supervisors; now,
17therefore, be it

18Resolved by the Senate, the Assembly concurring, That the
19Legislature of the State of California at itsbegin delete 2015-16end deletebegin insert 2015-16end insert
20 Regular Session commencing on the first day of December 2014,
21two-thirds of the membership of each house concurring, hereby
22proposes to the people of the State of California, that the
23Constitution of the State be amended as follows:

24

First--  

That Section 1 of Article XI thereof is amended to read:

25

SEC. 1.  

(a) The State is divided into counties which are legal
26subdivisions of the State. The Legislature shall prescribe uniform
27procedure for county formation, consolidation, and boundary
28change. Formation or consolidation requires approval by a majority
29of electors voting on the question in each affected county. A
30boundary change requires approval by the governing body of each
31affected county. No county seat shall be removed unless two-thirds
32of the qualified electors of the county, voting on the proposition
33at a general election, shall vote in favor of such removal. A
34proposition of removal shall not be submitted in the same county
35more than once in four years.

36(b) The Legislature shall provide for county powers, an elected
37 county sheriff, an elected district attorney, an elected assessor, and
38an elected governing body in each county. Except as provided in
39paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 4 of this article, each
40governing body shall prescribe by ordinance the compensation of
P4    1its members, but the ordinance prescribing such compensation
2shall be subject to referendum. The Legislature or the governing
3body may provide for other officers whose compensation shall be
4prescribed by the governing body. The governing body shall
5provide for the number, compensation, tenure, and appointment
6of employees.

7

Second--  

That Section 4 of Article XI thereof is amended to
8read:

9

SEC. 4.  

(a) County charters shall provide for:

10(1) Except as otherwise provided in Section 4.5, a governing
11body ofbegin delete 5end deletebegin insert fiveend insert or more members, elected by district, with a
12requirement that the member reside in a district. Charter counties
13are subject to statutes that relate to apportioning population of
14governing body districts.

15(2) The compensation, terms, and removal of members of the
16governing body, subject to Section 4.5.

17(3) An elected sheriff, an elected district attorney, an elected
18assessor, other officers, their election or appointment,
19compensation, terms and removal.

20(4) The performance of functions required by statute.

21(5) The powers and duties of governing bodies and all other
22county officers, and for consolidation and segregation of county
23officers, and for the manner of filling all vacancies occurring in
24those offices.

25(6) The fixing and regulation by governing bodies, by ordinance,
26of the appointment and number of assistants, deputies, clerks,
27attachés, and other persons to be employed, and for the prescribing
28and regulating by such bodies of the powers, duties, qualifications,
29and compensation of such persons, the times at which, and terms
30for which they shall be appointed, and the manner of their
31appointment and removal.

32(7) Whenever any county has framed and adopted a charter, and
33the charter has been approved by the Legislature as provided in
34this section, the general laws adopted by the Legislature pursuant
35to subdivision (b) of Section 1 of this article, shall, as to that
36county, be superseded by that charter as to matters for which, under
37this section it is competent to make provision in the charter, and
38for which provision is made in the charter, except as otherwise
39expressly provided in this section.

P5    1(8) Charter counties shall have all the powers that are provided
2by this Constitution or by statute for counties.

3(b) The changes made by the act adding this subdivision shall
4apply on and after January 1, 2021.

5

Third--  

That Section 4.5 is added to Article XI thereof, to
6read:

7

SEC. 4.5.  

begin delete

In

end delete

8begin insert(a)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertInend insert a county with a population of more than 2,000,000 at a
9decennial United States census, beginning with the 2020 United
10States census, the county charter shall provide as follows:

begin delete

11(a)

end delete

12begin insert(1)end insert The governing body shall consist ofbegin delete 7end deletebegin insert sevenend insert or more
13begin delete members.end deletebegin insert members, elected by district, with a requirement that
14the member reside in a district, and subject to statutes that relate
15to apportioning the population of governing body districts.end insert

begin delete

16(b)

end delete

17begin insert(2)end insert The expenditures for the governing body and its staff may
18not exceed, for any subsequent fiscal year, the lesser of the amount
19budgeted for that purpose for thebegin delete 2020-21end deletebegin insert 2020-21end insert fiscal year or
20the amount that has the same proportion to total county
21expenditures as the expenditures for that purpose had to the total
22county budget in thebegin delete 2020-21end deletebegin insert 2020-21end insert fiscal year.

begin insert

23(b) (1) Each general law county with a population of more than
242,000,000 at a decennial United States census, beginning with the
252020 United States census, shall have a governing body consisting
26of seven or more members. Any county described in this subdivision
27 shall be subject to statutes that relate to apportioning the
28population of governing body districts.

end insert
begin insert

29(2) For each general law county with a population of more than
302,000,000 at a decennial United States census, beginning with the
312020 United States census, the expenditures for the governing
32body and its staff may not exceed, for any subsequent fiscal year,
33the lesser of the amount budgeted for that purpose for the 2020-21
34fiscal year or the amount that has the same proportion to total
35county expenditures as the expenditures for that purpose had to
36the total county budget in the 2020-21 fiscal year.

end insert
begin insert

P6    1(3) On and after January 1, 2021, the members of a governing
2body of a general law county shall be elected by district, and the
3member shall reside in that district.

end insert


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