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Referendum in California

Definition of Referendum

Referendum is the power of the people to approve or reject statutes adopted by the Legislature, except those that are urgency, that call for elections, or that provide for tax levies or appropriations for usual current expenses of the state. Voters wishing to block implementation of a legislatively adopted statute must gather signatures of registered voters equal in number to 5% of the votes cast for all candidates for Governor in the last election within ninety days of enactment of the bill. Once on the ballot, the law proposed by the Legislature is blocked if voters cast more no votes than yes votes on the question.

Legislative Meaning of Referendum

The method by which a measure adopted by the Legislature may be submitted to the electorate for a vote. See more about California legislative definitions (including Referendum).


More information about the California State Legislature

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Referendum and the Legislative Process

The method, used by members of the public, by which a measure adopted by the Legislature may be submitted to the electorate for a vote. A referendum petition must be signed by electors equal to five percent of the total vote for all gubernatorial candidates in the last gubernatorial election.


See Also

  • Legislative Power
  • Legislative Branch
  • Legislation
  • Executive Branch
  • Legislative Function

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