Brown v. Super. Ct.Annotate this Case
The Legislature specified that any amendments to a measure submitted for comment must be “reasonably germane to the theme, purpose, or subject of the initiative measure as originally proposed.” At issue is the scope of Elections Code provisions enacted in 2014, which created a new process by which a proposed initiative measure is submitted for public comment. In this case, proponents decided to amend their measure, deleting some provisions and adding others that were supported by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. Challengers sought a writ of mandate requiring the Attorney General to reject the amendments. The trial court granted the writ. The proponents, joined by the Governor, sought emergency relief in this court. The court granted the requested relief and directed the trial court to vacate its judgment. The court concluded that the legislative history and statutory language demonstrate that the Legislature intended the comment period to facilitate feedback, not to create a broad public forum. Nor did the Legislature preclude substantive amendments. The court concluded that, while the new process imposes time constraints on various governmental functions, the constraints are similar to those that existed under the former statutory scheme. In particular, the Legislature continued existing law relating to fiscal analyses of the impacts of proposed measures.