BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          SCA 8 (Mendoza) - Counties:  board of supervisors:   
          redistricting
          
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          |Version: July 9, 2015           |Policy Vote: GOV.&F. 4 - 2,     |
          |                                |          E.&C.A. 4 - 0         |
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          |Urgency:                        |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: August 17, 2015   |Consultant: Mark McKenzie       |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File. 







          Bill  
          Summary:  SCA 8, if approved by the voters, would require  
          counties with a population greater than two million residents  
          after the 2020 United States Census to have a governing body  
          consisting of at least seven members.  The bill would also  
          require members of a county governing body to be elected by  
          district, beginning in 2021.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
           One-time costs in the range of $275,000 to $330,000 to the  
            Secretary of State (SOS) in 2015-16 for printing and mailing  







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            costs to place the measure on the ballot in the next statewide  
            election.  (General Fund)

           Unknown, likely significant local costs and cost pressures to  
            establish additional district boundaries, perform election  
            related duties, and make necessary office and facility  
            improvements, beginning in 2021. (local funds)


          Background:  Existing law, Section 4 of Article XI of the California  
          Constitution, requires county charters to provide for a  
          governing body of at least five members, elected by district, or  
          at large, as specified.  Existing law authorizes a charter  
          county to expand the number of governing body members by a  
          simple majority vote of its residents.  There have only been  
          five attempts to expand charter county boards of supervisors,  
          all of which failed to achieve voter-approval:
           On November 6, 1962, Los Angeles County voters rejected  
            Proposition D, which would have expanded the Board of  
            Supervisors from five to seven members.

           At the November 2, 1976 General Election, Los Angeles County  
            voters rejected Proposition B, which would have expanded the  
            Board of Supervisors from five to nine members.

           Proposition C on the November 3, 1992 ballot, would have  
            increased the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors from  
            five to nine members, but the measure failed by a margin of  
            about two-to-one.

           On the March 26, 1996 primary ballot, voters in Orange County  
            rejected Measure U, a charter proposal to expand the board of  
            supervisors from five to nine members.

           On November 7, 2000, more than 64% of Los Angeles County  
            voters rejected Measure A, which would have increased the  
            number of county supervisors from five to nine.

          There are 14 charter counties in California: Alameda, Butte, El  
          Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San  
          Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara,  
          and Tehama.  Currently, only five counties have populations of  
          more than two million residents: Los Angeles (10.1 million), San  
          Diego (3.2 million), Orange (3.1 million), Riverside (2.3  








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          million), and San Bernardino (2.1 million).  All counties in  
          California conduct elections for county supervisors by district.




          Proposed Law:  
            SCA 8 would place a measure on the statewide ballot to amend  
          the California Constitution to do the following:
           Require the county charter in a county with a population of  
            more than two million residents at a decennial U.S. Census,  
            beginning with the 2020 U.S. Census, to provide for a  
            governing body of seven or more members, elected by district,  
            with a requirement that the member reside in a district, as  
            specified.

           Require general law counties with over 2 million residents as  
            of the 2020 U.S. Census to also have a governing body of seven  
            or more members, as specified.

           Require the county charter in a county with over 2 million  
            residents to limit the expenditures for the governing body and  
            its staff to the lesser of the amount budgeted in the 2020-21  
            fiscal year or the proportional amount that the county  
            budgeted for governing body and staff expenditures as a  
            percentage of the total county budget in 2020-21.  These  
            limitations would also apply to general law counties with over  
            2 million residents as of the 2020 U.S. Census.

           Require the members of a governing body of a general law  
            county to be elected by district, with the member residing in  
            a respective district, beginning in 2021.

           Repeal the authority for any county charter to provide for a  
            governing body elected at large or at large by district on  
            January 1, 2021.

           Repeal constitutional provisions on January 1, 2021 that  
            specify the manner in which some charter counties can  
            prescribe the salary of the governing body by ordinance. 

           Make additional non-substantive and conforming changes.










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          Related  
          Legislation:  SCA 7 (Polanco) of the 1999-2000 Session, would  
          have amended the California Constitution to require a charter  
          county with a population of over 5 million to have a governing  
          body of at least nine members, which only applied to Los Angeles  
          County.  The measure was approved by the Senate but held in the  
          Assembly Elections, Redistricting, and Constitutional Amendments  
          Committee.


          Staff  
          Comments:  This bill is intended to make California's largest  
          counties more responsive and representative by mandating the  
          addition of two county supervisors to counties with a population  
          of over 2 million residents, while ensuring that the larger  
          boards do not increase costs for board operations.  Staff notes,  
          however, that freezing or reducing the total budgets for  
          governing body members and associated staff at the 2020-21 level  
          would likely result in reduced resources for constituent  
          services.  Despite these limits on board operations budgets,  
          affected counties would incur significant one-time costs to make  
          necessary district boundary changes, conduct elections, and make  
          facility improvements. 
          According to the SOS, the printing and mailing costs associated  
          with placing a measure on the statewide ballot are approximately  
          $55,000 per page, depending on the length of the ballot.  The  
          fiscal estimates noted above reflect the addition of a minimum  
          of 5-6 pages in the Voter Information Guide for this initiative.  
           Actual costs would depend upon the length of the title and  
          summary, analysis by the Legislative Analyst's Office, proponent  
          and opponent arguments, and text of the proposal.  




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