CA Voters Attitudes on the Initiative Process

From a new PPIC survey:

Strong Support for the citizens’ Initiative—and for Reforming the Process

Consistent with this preference for giving the electorate the final say on state tax increases, 72 percent of likely voters say it is a good thing that a majority of voters can make laws and change public policies by passing initiatives (24% a bad thing). Solid majorities express this view across political parties, regions, and demographic groups. Since PPIC began asking this question in October 2000, large majorities of likely voters have said it is a good thing that voters can make laws by passing initiatives.

A majority of likely voters (62%) are satisfied with the way the initiative process is working, but most of them (55%) are only somewhat satisfied. Three-fourths (74%) say the process needs changes (36% major changes, 38% minor changes). Only 19 percent say it is fine the way it is. Asked about three changes that have been suggested, overwhelming majorities support each: 84 percent favor increasing public disclosure of funding sources for signature gathering and initiative campaigns, 78 percent favor having a period of time in which the initiative sponsor could meet with the legislature to see if there is a compromise solution before putting a measure on the ballot. And 77 percent favor having a system for reviewing and revising proposed initiatives to try to avoid legal issues and drafting errors. Each of these three ideas has strong support across party lines.



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