The Senate's vote to pass AB 421 is a major step towards a referendum system that truly represents California voters by:
- Gives voters the tools to understand who is behind a measure
- Clears ballot confusion
- Matches up rules to withdraw referendums with the rules to withdraw state initiatives
- Stops the abuse of referendum process by special interests to overturn laws that protect working people, our environment, and communities of color
This bill ensures voters have the information to understand who is behind overturning a law and clarifies ballot language on what whether a vote means overturning or upholding a law. Voter accessibility also means voter literacy, not exploitation from corporations.
“Big Oil, Big Tobacco, fast food giants, and other deceitful corporations have exploited a confusing referendum process in order to turn back communities' hard-fought legislative wins' that stops now,” said Tia Orr, Executive Director of SEIU California.
“Referendums are supposed to be an important tool of direct democracy, but in recent years, we have seen referendums co-opted by powerful corporate interested, from oil companies, fast food corporations to Big Tobacco,” said Last Chance Alliance.
Today's vote is a major step in stopping the abuse of the referendum process by special interests to overturn laws that protect working people, our environment, and communities of color. We thank AB 421 author Assemblyperson Isaac Bryan (@isaacgbryan), for his leadership and for the Senate and Gov Newsom for standing with California voters.