Governing by initiatives: very costly
February 22, 2012
California’s government is increasingly impacted by the whim of successful voter initiatives, which have multiplied like amoeba during a half century of public availability.
Data provided by the California State Senate suggest there might be as many as 885 proposed initiatives by this end of this decade. [SanJoseMercuryNews]
By contrast, during the years 1960 to 1969, 47 such initiates were introduced. The numbers have nearly doubled annually. With a filing fee of only $200, the process attracts subject matter that is both serious and comical. And the exploitation of the initiative as a cheap advertising opportunity is not unheard of.
Those so-called “vanity” submissions are costly, too: Last fiscal year, state officials spend more than $500,000 to process 102 initiatives. Attempts to raise the filing fee have thus far failed.