Home Vote Results History Contacts Admin
 GPCA Standing General Assembly Voting


Proposal Details

Proposal ID12
ProposalGPCA State Legislative Demands 2012
PresenterCoordinating Committee, Green Issues Working Group
Floor ManagerMike Feinstein
Discussion12/09/2012 - 01/09/2013
Voting01/10/2013 - 01/18/2013
Presens Quorum13 0.5001
Consens Quorum38 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes


After the November 2012 elections, for the first time since 1933, a single party (the Democrats) has at least 2/3 of the members of both houses of the California state legislature, meaning it has the ability to pass legislation and perform other functions that require a 2/3 super-majority (see list of such functions below in 'references'.)

At its November 12th and December 3 teleconferences, the Coordinating Committee discussed and established a process to establish a GPCA set of policy demands of the legislature in response. The following proposal is co-sponsored by the Coordinating Committee and the Green Issues Working Group.

The approach is to agree upon five general issue areas, where the Green Party of California would make a specific, immediate demand of the legislature, as well express a longer term GPCA goal and vision. The GPCA would then do publicity and seek to organize in coalition around these issues.


Green Party Policy Demands to the California State Legislature/Green Party Legislative Agenda
The Green Party urges the California State Legislature, in which there is now a historic 2/3 super-majority of Democrats in both houses, to address several key issues confronting our state. The Green Party advocates a ‘Green New Deal’ of specific solutions that would heal our planet, invigorate our democracy, increase fairness in our economy and ensure health-care for all.

The Green Party seeks to align itself and work in coalition with kindred individuals and social movements who support these changes, and to build support for them among Californians at large and within the legislature, in order to help ensure their passage.

1. Climate Change

Climate change is the defining crisis of our time. We must take action to ensure that future generations have a liveable planet, including:
• Robust promotion of conservation, efficiency and renewable sources, including financial underwriting for new technologies for energy conservation, production and storage, and for distributed generation and community-scale 'islanded' smart grids. 'Islanded' smart grids means both local generation and storage, and development of micro-grids which can continue to function if much or all of the rest of a regional grid is disabled, and which can supply or receive surplus electricity from other micro-grids
• Promptly close and decommission the state's nuclear power plants at Diablo Canyon and San Onofre. (http://www.cagreens.org/ga/resolutions/close-california-nukes)
• Implement a carbon tax instead of cap and trade. (http://www.ecology.com/2011/09/11/dont-sell-pollute) Cap and trade is an invitation to powerful interests to avoid making needed change, sells the right to pollute and harms already overexposed communities; while a carbon tax automatically shifts the market in favor of green solutions and rewards greens businesses and workers.

2. Electoral reform

California’s Democracy is strongest when all voices are heard and when voters have the greatest opportunity to vote for and elect people who truly represent them. As a priority, the Green Party calls for :
• A ballot initiative to overturn Proposition 14, The Top Two Elections System.
• Legislation to restore the right of Californians to cast write-in votes in the general election -- and have them counted.
The Green Party also believes that California should move to change its electoral system to one of multi-seat districts with proportional representation for the state legislature; ranked-choice voting for single-seat, statewide constitutional office; with public financing of all ballot qualified candidates, including free media time.

3. Progressive taxation

The passage of Proposition 30 was only a temporary, short term and insufficient approach to California's finances. The state's structural budget deficit remains and long-term, structural solutions are in order to address it. The Green Party:
• Supports immediate efforts to lower the threshold to approve new taxes from 2/3 to 55%
• Supports efforts to rectify the historic inequity under Proposition 13 where owners of commercial properties evade paying fair market value by leasing such properties rather than reselling them.
The Green Party’s legislative agenda includes addressing the state's structural budget deficit and issues of fairness and equity in taxation through progressive reforms to the tax system, including a progressive income tax; natural resources extraction taxes such as an oil severance tax; pollution taxes like a carbon tax; closing corporate loopholes and eliminating corporate welfare; and legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana - all while cutting income taxes for the average worker and payroll taxes for small businesses, so that we incentivize work and a healthy environment, penalize pollution and waste, and keep the unearned profit out of speculation and monopolies.

4. Health Care

Healthcare is a human right. The current federal health care law, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and known informally as Obamacare, puts insurance companies in charge of providing healthcare to citizens. The Green Party rejects that approach and calls for:
• A system of Universal, Single Payer Health Care for California.
Greens note that California legislature Democrats passed a "single payer-healthcare" bill on three occasions when it was expected to be vetoed. The first two attempts were vetoed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrats pulled it the third time when Schwarzenegger threatened to veto it again. Single-payer was reintroduced again in 2011 when Democratic Governor Jerry Brown took office, but at that time, Democrats failed to get enough votes to pass it. Now with a super majority of Democrats in both houses, no reason not to pass it.

5. Living Wage

The Green Party believes every person who wants to work is entitled to a job that pays a liveable wage. The original minimum wage enacted under FDR's New Deal was intended to be a liveable wage, but today it is far from that, and this is exacerbated by reduced social services in the state for those in need. As a result, many Californians who work hard and play by the rules are unable to sustain themselves.

In the name of fairness to those hard-working Californians and as a powerful stimulant to the economy, the Green Party:

• Supports immediate efforts to raise the minimum wage up to or greater than San Francisco's minimum wage and index it to inflation; and
• Supports efforts to swiftly enact a real living wage for California




Places where California state law requires a 2/3 vote of the state legislature.

• Initiatives/Constitutional Amendment

The California state legislature may place measures on the ballot for a public vote, either as legislatively-referred constitutional amendments (ACA or SCA) or legislatively-referred state statutes. Referred constitutional amendments require a 2/3 vote of each house of the state legislature for passage, then may be submitted to the voters in the next election. (http://www.legislature.ca.gov/quicklinks/glossary.html

• Taxes

Article 13 Section 3 of the California State Constitution requires a 2/3 vote by both houses of the state legislature for passage of any tax increases.

• State and Local Government Fees

Proposition amended the California State Constitution to require a 2/3 vote on include many payments previously considered to be fees or charges, increasing the number of revenue proposals subject to a 2/3 vote, in particular ones that government imposes to address health, environmental, or other societal or economic concerns. (http://www.lao.ca.gov/ballot/2010/26_11_2010.aspx)

• Override

An effort to reverse or 'override' a Governor’s veto of a bill approved by the state legislature requires a vote of two-thirds of the members of each house of the state legislature. The Governor can also exercise a line-item veto, where the amount of an appropriation is reduced or eliminated, while the rest of the bill is approved. A line-item veto may also be overridden by a two-thirds vote in each house. (http://www.legislature.ca.gov/quicklinks/glossary.html)

• Prop 98

Proposition 98 (Education Funding) can be suspended for one fiscal year by a 2/3 vote of both houses of the state legislature and any amount of funding allocated in its place by the legislature.(http://www.lao.ca.gov/2005/prop_98_primer/prop_98_primer_020805.htm)

• Prop 42

Proposition 42 can be suspended for one fiscal year if the Governor declares a fiscal emergency and then each house of the legislature enacts a statue by a 2/3 vote to suspend the transfer

• Urgency Measure

A bill affecting the public peace, health, or safety, which takes effect upon the Governor's signature. Such a bill requires a 2/3 vote of each house of the state legislature for passage. (http://www.legislature.ca.gov/quicklinks/glossary.html)

• Urgency Clause

A bill which contains an urgency clause takes effect upon the Governor's signature. A vote on the urgency clause must precede a vote on the bill and requires a 2/3 vote of each house of the state legislature for passage. (http://www.legislature.ca.gov/quicklinks/glossary.html)

• Rule Waiver

A request to exempt a bill from the application of either a standing rule of either house of the state legislature or a joint rule of the entire legislature. In most cases a rule is waived so a bill can be heard after a particular deadline. A rule waiver must be approved by the Rules Committee, and then by a 2/3 vote of the house involved, or both in the case of a Joint Rule.

• Amend Political Reform Act of 1974

Proposition 9 created the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to enforce political campaign, lobbying, and conflict of interest laws in the state of California. Any bills that amend this Act have a two-thirds vote requirement for passage, and are subject to a 12-day waiting period before final passage of each house. (http://www.legislature.ca.gov/quicklinks/glossary.html)

• Call for a Constitutional Convention

According to Section 2 of Article XVIII of the California Constitution, if two-thirds of the members of each house of the state legislature agree, a question as to whether to call a convention or revise the constitution goes on the state's next general election ballot.


Note that in the case of California, 2/3 means 2/3 of all members in the legislature, not 2/3 of those voting. This means at least 54 in the affirmative in the Assembly and 27 in the Senate, regardless of how many others are voting.


This list is based upon information from the websites of the California State Assembly and State Senate and other sources, and is being confirmed with the California Legislative Analyst.

Questions about this system?
Contact the Voting Admin.

The Voting is free software, licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
You can download the 2006 gp-us version here or the 2012 gpca sga version here.

To independently verify a Ranked Choice Vote, or for information about how that works, go to Jonathan Lundell's Voting Page and upload the ballot file from the ranked choice vote result page. JL's ranked choice module is licensed under an alternate free software license.