Two Initiatives Cleared for Signature Gathering
The following two intiatives have been cleared for signature gathering. The first one, relating to the budget and fiscal measures, amends the constitution and so requires 807,615 valid signatures. Proponents have until October 21. The second, relating to nuclear energy, is a proposed statutory change and so needs only 504,760 signatures. Its backers have until October 20.
The official summary prepared by the Attorney General and fiscal impact are below:
Any statute, state budget, or legislative constitutional change that decreases state revenues or increases state program or agency costs by $25 million or more in a fiscal year must include offsetting revenues or spending cuts. Establishes a two-year budget cycle, with five-year fiscal projections. Permits the Governor to cut the budget midyear when a fiscal crisis has been declared and Legislature fails to act. Requires the budget bill to be in print three days before its adoption. Requires state program performance reviews.
Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increases in state spending — potentially tens of millions of dollars per year — to administer new budgeting process requirements. Potentially significant, but unknown, fiscal effects for the state and local governments affected by state budgetary decisions.
Extends statutory preconditions, currently applicable to new operation of any nuclear powerplant, to existing Diablo Canyon and San Onofre operations. Before further electricity production at these plants, requires California Energy Commission to find federal government has approved technology for permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste. For nuclear powerplants requiring reprocessing of fuel rods, requires Commission to find federal government has approved technology for nuclear fuel rod reprocessing plants. Both findings are subject to Legislature’s rejection. Further requires Commission to find on case-by-case basis facilities will be available with adequate capacity to reprocess or store powerplant’s fuel rods.
Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Likely major impacts on state and local finances in the form of decreased revenues and increased costs, at least in the billions of dollars annually, due to disruptions in the state’s electricity system and electricity price increases. Potential major state costs to compensate utilities for investment losses resulting from the mandated shutdown of their nuclear power plants. Potential avoidance of future state and local government costs and lost revenues resulting from the unlikely event of a major nuclear plant incident.
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