Are Proposition 65 Bills Enough Legislative Findings?

In reviewing recent legislation proposing amendments to the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Substances Control Act of 1986, voters passed Proposition 65, the same legislative conclusions and statements are made in every bill. This is a simplified statement that raises the question of whether this language satisfies the requirement of Proposition 65.

Proposition 65 adopted an initiative charter which, in Section 1 of Proposition 65, provides in part as follows:

Californians believe that hazardous chemicals pose a serious potential threat to their health and well-being, that state government agencies have failed to adequately protect them, and that these failures have been serious enough to warrant investigation by federal agencies managing California’s toxics protection programs.

In addition, sentence 65 in section 7 provides the following:

To achieve its goals, this initiative can be supplemented by a law passed in each chamber by two-thirds of the votes.

Proposition 65 was a legislative initiative passed by the people and allows the Legislature to amend the Drinking Water Safety and Toxic Substances Control Act. It states that any provision of the Act may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the Legislative Assembly if the amendment “advances its purposes”.

. Recall that Article II, Section 10 of the California Constitution provides in subsection (c)

The legislature can amend or repeal the referendum law. The legislature may amend or repeal the initiative law by another law that takes effect only after voter approval, unless the initiative law allows amendment or repeal without voter approval.

This provision allows amendments to an initiative passed by the state’s voters, the Legislature (such as Proposition 65), only if the initiative allows amendment without voter approval. Proposition 65 allows for amendments by the Legislature as described above.

As a result, the Legislature can amend Proposition 65. Thus, when the Legislature wishes to amend Proposition 65, it includes in a “plus section” (which can be seen at the end of a bill proposing to amend the Act) a legislative opinion and a declaration . The following is an example of what is contained in almost every Proposition 65 amendment bill:

The Legislature finds and declares that this law furthers the goals of the Drinking Water Safety and Toxic Substances Enforcement Act of 1986 (chapter 6.6 (beginning with section 25249.5) of title 20 of the Health and Safety Code).

The question to be decided is whether the wording in the example above is sufficient or whether there should be some explanation why the Legislature believes that the proposed amendment furthers the stated goals of Proposition 65.

Unfortunately, the bills to amend Proposition 65, which include a simple statement as outlined above, do nothing to explain why the Legislature actually believes that the proposed amendment “advances the objectives” of the Drinking Water Safety and Toxic Control Act. substances in 1986. the draft law simply states the legislative conclusion and declaration without any additional justification or explanation.

As with other bills that require legislative findings and declarations, should bills proposing amendments to Proposition 65 include a reference to any of the stated purposes of Proposition 65 (there are four in Section 1 of the Act)?

This brief explanation approach is often applied to urgency clauses and special legislation. If the courts are considering the urgency clause or the findings of a special law, then there is at least a short sentence or paragraph explaining why the Legislature decided that a particular bill needed a urgency clause or why that bill qualified as a special law.

So perhaps bills proposing to amend Proposition 65 should also include some rationale for the amendments they propose, so that if the legislation were to be challenged in the courts, the courts would have a basis for understanding why the Legislature decided the bill had amended. in Proposition 65. .65 contributed to the achievement of its objectives. As a result, the Legislature should consider adding some explanatory language to its simple statements in Proposition 65 amendment bills in the future.

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