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Third Substitute S.B. 28
5 This act modifies the Election Code provisions relating to statewide initiatives. This act
6 modifies signature requirements, modifies certain disclosure requirements, and modifies
7 the time period during which sponsors may gather signatures. This act establishes a
8 moratorium before an initiative that failed may be recirculated. This act requires that
9 the petition sponsors hold public hearings on the petition in geographically diverse areas
10 of Utah and establishes notice and procedural requirements for those public hearings.
11 This act modifies political issues committee and corporation financial disclosure
12 requirements. This act makes it a crime for persons to pay someone to sign or remove
13 their signature from an initiative petition and makes it a crime for persons to accept
14 payment for signing or removing their name from an initiative petition. This act includes
15 a severability clause. This act makes technical changes.
16 This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
18 20A-7-201, as last amended by Chapter 115, Laws of Utah 1999
19 20A-7-202, as last amended by Chapter 45, Laws of Utah 1999
20 20A-7-203, as last amended by Chapters 3 and 75, Laws of Utah 2000
21 20A-7-207, as last amended by Chapters 153 and 165, Laws of Utah 1995
22 20A-7-213, as last amended by Chapter 45, Laws of Utah 1999
23 20A-11-702, as last amended by Chapter 355, Laws of Utah 1997
24 20A-11-802, as last amended by Chapters 45 and 109, Laws of Utah 1999
26 20A-7-204.1, Utah Code Annotated 1953
27 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
28 Section 1. Section 20A-7-201 is amended to read:
29 20A-7-201. Statewide initiatives -- Signature requirements -- Submission to the
30 Legislature or to a vote of the people.
31 (1) (a) A person seeking to have an initiative submitted to the Legislature for approval
32 or rejection shall obtain:
33 (i) legal signatures equal to 5% of the cumulative total of all votes cast for all
34 candidates for governor at the last regular general election at which a governor was elected; and
35 (ii) from each of at least [
36 equal to 5% of the total of all votes cast in that [
37 at the last regular general election at which a governor was elected.
38 (b) If, at any time not less than ten days before the beginning of an annual general
39 session of the Legislature, the lieutenant governor declares sufficient any initiative petition that
40 is signed by enough voters to meet the requirements of this Subsection (1), the lieutenant
41 governor shall deliver a copy of the petition and the cover sheet required by Subsection (1)(c)
42 to the president of the Senate, the speaker of the House, and the director of the Office of
43 Legislative Research and General Counsel.
44 (c) In delivering a copy of the petition, the lieutenant governor shall include a cover
45 sheet that contains:
46 (i) the cumulative total of all votes cast for all candidates for governor at the last
47 regular general election at which a governor was elected;
48 (ii) the total of all votes cast in each [
49 candidates for governor at the last regular general election at which a governor was elected;
50 (iii) the total number of certified signatures received for the submitted initiative; and
51 (iv) the total number of certified signatures received from each [
52 Senate district for the submitted initiative.
53 (2) (a) A person seeking to have an initiative submitted to a vote of the people for
54 approval or rejection shall obtain:
55 (i) legal signatures equal to 10% of the cumulative total of all votes cast for all
56 candidates for governor at the last regular general election at which a governor was elected; and
57 (ii) from each of at least [
58 equal to 10% of the total of all votes cast in that [
59 at the last regular general election at which a governor was elected.
60 (b) If, at any time not less than four months before any regular general election, the
61 lieutenant governor declares sufficient any initiative petition that is signed by enough legal
62 voters to meet the requirements of this subsection, the lieutenant governor shall submit the
63 proposed law to a vote of the people at the next regular general election.
64 (3) The lieutenant governor shall provide the following information from the official
65 canvass of the last regular general election at which a governor was elected to any interested
67 (a) the cumulative total of all votes cast for all candidates for governor; and
68 (b) for each [
70 Section 2. Section 20A-7-202 is amended to read:
71 20A-7-202. Statewide initiative process -- Application procedures -- Time to
72 gather signatures -- Grounds for rejection.
73 (1) Persons wishing to circulate an initiative petition shall file an application with the
74 lieutenant governor.
75 (2) The application shall contain:
76 (a) the name and residence address of at least five sponsors of the initiative petition;
77 (b) a statement indicating that each of the sponsors:
78 (i) is a resident of Utah; and
79 (ii) has voted in a regular general election in Utah within the last three years;
80 (c) the signature of each of the sponsors, attested to by a notary public; [
81 (d) a copy of the proposed law[
82 (e) a statement indicating whether or not persons gathering signatures for the petition
83 may be paid for doing so.
84 (3) The application and its contents are public when filed with the lieutenant governor.
85 (4) (a) The sponsors shall qualify the petition for the regular general election ballot no
86 later than [
87 (b) If the sponsors fail to qualify the petition for that ballot, the sponsors must:
88 (i) submit a new application;
89 (ii) obtain new signature sheets; and
90 (iii) collect signatures again.
91 (5) The lieutenant governor shall reject the application and not issue circulation sheets
93 (a) the law proposed by the initiative is patently unconstitutional;
94 (b) the law proposed by the initiative is nonsensical; [
95 (c) the proposed law could not become law if passed[
96 (d) the law proposed by the initiative is identical or substantially similar to a law
97 proposed by an initiative that was submitted to the county clerks and lieutenant governor for
98 certification and evaluation within two years preceding the date on which the application for
99 this initiative was filed.
100 Section 3. Section 20A-7-203 is amended to read:
101 20A-7-203. Form of initiative petition and signature sheets.
102 (1) (a) Each proposed initiative petition shall be printed in substantially the following
104 "INITIATIVE PETITION To the Honorable ____, Lieutenant Governor:
105 We, the undersigned citizens of Utah, respectfully demand that the following proposed
106 law be submitted to the legal voters/Legislature of Utah for their/its approval or rejection at the
107 regular general election/session to be held/ beginning on _________(month\day\year);
108 Each signer says:
109 I have personally signed this petition;
110 I am registered to vote in Utah or intend to become registered to vote in Utah before the
111 certification of the petition names by the county clerk; and
112 My residence and post office address are written correctly after my name.[
113 NOTICE TO SIGNERS:
114 Public hearings to discuss this petition were held at: (list dates and locations of public
116 (b) The sponsors of an initiative shall attach a copy of the proposed law to each
117 initiative petition.
118 (2) Each signature sheet shall:
119 (a) be printed on sheets of paper 8-1/2 inches long and 11 inches wide;
120 (b) be ruled with a horizontal line 3/4 inch from the top, with the space above that line
121 blank for the purpose of binding;
122 (c) contain the title of the initiative printed below the horizontal line;
123 (d) contain the word "Warning" printed or typed at the top of each signature sheet
124 under the title of the initiative;
125 (e) contain, to the right of the word "Warning," the following statement printed or
126 typed in not less than eight-point, single leaded type:
127 "It is a class A misdemeanor for anyone to sign any initiative petition with any other
128 name than his own, or knowingly to sign his name more than once for the same measure, or to
129 sign an initiative petition when he knows he is not a registered voter and knows that he does
130 not intend to become registered to vote before the certification of the petition names by the
131 county clerk."; and
135 (i) the first column shall appear at the extreme left of the sheet, be 5/8 inch wide, be
136 headed with "For Office Use Only," and be subdivided with a light vertical line down the
137 middle with the left subdivision entitled "Registered" and the right subdivision left untitled;
138 (ii) the next column shall be three inches wide, headed "Registered Voter's Printed
139 Name (must be legible to be counted)";
140 (iii) the next column shall be three inches wide, headed "Signature of Registered
141 Voter"; and
142 (iv) the final column shall be 4-3/8 inches wide, headed "Street Address, City, Zip
144 (3) The final page of each initiative packet shall contain the following printed or typed
147 State of Utah, County of ____
148 I, _______________, of ____, hereby state that:
149 I am a resident of Utah and am at least 18 years old;
150 All the names that appear in this packet were signed by persons who professed to be the
151 persons whose names appear in it, and each of them signed his name on it in my presence;
152 I believe that each has printed and signed his name and written his post office address
153 and residence correctly, and that each signer is registered to vote in Utah or intends to become
154 registered to vote before the certification of the petition names by the county clerk.
155 I have not paid or given anything of value to any person who signed this petition to
156 encourage them to sign it.
158 (Name) (Residence Address) (Date)"
159 (4) The forms prescribed in this section are not mandatory, and, if substantially
160 followed, the initiative petitions are sufficient, notwithstanding clerical and merely technical
162 Section 4. Section 20A-7-204.1 is enacted to read:
163 20A-7-204.1. Public hearings to be held before initiative petitions are circulated.
164 (1) (a) Before circulating initiative petitions for signature statewide, sponsors of the
165 initiative petition shall hold at least seven public hearings throughout Utah as follows:
166 (i) one in the Bear River region -- Box Elder, Cache, or Rich County;
167 (ii) one in the Southwest region -- Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, or Washington
169 (iii) one in the Mountain region -- Summit, Utah, or Wasatch County;
170 (iv) one in the Central region -- Juab, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, or Wayne
172 (v) one in the Southeast region -- Carbon, Emery, Grand, or San Juan County;
173 (vi) one in the Uintah Basin region -- Daggett, Duchesne, or Uintah County; and
174 (vii) one in the Wasatch Front region -- Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Tooele, or Weber
176 (b) Of the seven meetings, at least two of the meetings must be held in a first or second
177 class county, but not in the same county.
178 (2) At least 3 calendar days before the date of the public hearing, the sponsors shall:
179 (a) provide written notice of the public hearing to:
180 (i) the lieutenant governor for posting on the state's website; and
181 (ii) each state senator, state representative, and county commission or county council
182 member who is elected in whole or in part from the region where the public hearing will be
183 held; and
184 (b) publish written notice of the public hearing detailing its time, date, and location in
185 at least one newspaper of general circulation in each county in the region where the public
186 hearing will be held.
187 (3) (a) During the public hearing, the sponsors shall either:
188 (i) video tape or audio tape the public hearing and, when the hearing is complete,
189 deposit the complete audio or video tape of the meeting with the lieutenant governor; or
190 (ii) take comprehensive minutes of the public hearing, detailing the names and titles of
191 each speaker and summarizing each speaker's comments.
192 (b) The lieutenant governor shall make copies of the tapes or minutes available to the
194 Section 5. Section 20A-7-207 is amended to read:
195 20A-7-207. Evaluation by the lieutenant governor.
196 (1) When each initiative packet is received from a county clerk, the lieutenant governor
197 shall check off from his record the number of each initiative packet filed.
198 (2) (a) After all of the initiative packets have been received by the lieutenant governor,
199 the lieutenant governor shall:
200 (i) count the number of the names certified by the county clerks that appear on each
201 verified signature sheet; and
202 (ii) declare the petition to be sufficient or insufficient by July 6 before the regular
203 general election.
204 (b) If the total number of certified names from each verified signature sheet equals or
205 exceeds the number of names required by Section 20A-7-201 , the lieutenant governor shall
206 mark upon the front of the petition the word "sufficient."
207 (c) If the total number of certified names from each verified signature sheet does not
208 equal or exceed the number of names required by Section 20A-7-201 , the lieutenant governor
209 shall mark upon the front of the petition the word "insufficient."
210 (d) The lieutenant governor shall immediately notify any one of the sponsors of his
212 (3) [
213 additional signatures to qualify the petition for the pending regular general election.
219 (4) (a) If the lieutenant governor refuses to accept and file any initiative petition that a
220 sponsor believes is legally sufficient, any voter may, by July 20, apply to the supreme court for
221 an extraordinary writ to compel the lieutenant governor to do so.
222 (b) The supreme court shall:
223 (i) determine whether or not the initiative petition is legally sufficient; and
224 (ii) certify its findings to the lieutenant governor by July 30.
225 (c) If the supreme court certifies that the initiative petition is legally sufficient, the
226 lieutenant governor shall file it, with a verified copy of the judgment attached to it, as of the
227 date on which it was originally offered for filing in his office.
228 (d) If the supreme court determines that any petition filed is not legally sufficient, the
229 supreme court may enjoin the lieutenant governor and all other officers from certifying or
230 printing the ballot title and numbers of that measure on the official ballot for the next election.
231 Section 6. Section 20A-7-213 is amended to read:
232 20A-7-213. Misconduct of electors and officers -- Penalty.
233 (1) It is unlawful for any person to:
234 (a) sign any name other than his own to any initiative petition;
235 (b) knowingly sign his name more than once for the same measure at one election;
236 (c) sign an initiative knowing he is not a legal voter; or
237 (d) knowingly and willfully violate any provision of this part.
238 (2) It is unlawful for any person to sign the verification for an initiative packet knowing
240 (a) he does not meet the residency requirements of Section 20A-2-105 ;
241 (b) he has not witnessed the signatures of those persons whose names appear in the
242 initiative packet; or
243 (c) one or more persons whose signatures appear in the initiative packet is either:
244 (i) not registered to vote in Utah; or
245 (ii) does not intend to become registered to vote in Utah.
246 (3) It is unlawful for any person to:
247 (a) pay a person to sign an initiative petition;
248 (b) pay a person to remove the person's signature from an initiative petition;
249 (c) accept payment to sign an initiative petition; or
250 (d) accept payment to have the person's name removed from an initiative petition.
253 this section.
254 Section 7. Section 20A-11-702 is amended to read:
255 20A-11-702. Campaign financial reporting of political issues expenditures by
256 corporations -- Financial reporting.
257 (1) (a) Each corporation that has made political issues expenditures on current or
258 proposed ballot issues that total at least $750 during a calendar year shall file a verified
259 financial statement with the lieutenant governor's office on:
260 (i) January 5, reporting expenditures as of December 31 of the previous year;
261 (ii) March 1;
262 (iii) June 1;
265 (b) The corporation shall report:
266 (i) a detailed listing of all expenditures made since the last statement; and
267 (ii) for financial statements filed on September 15 and before the primary and general
268 elections, expenditures as of three days before the required filing date of the financial
270 (c) The corporation need not file a statement under this section if it made no
271 expenditures during the reporting period.
272 (2) That statement shall include:
273 (a) the name and address of each individual, entity, or group of individuals or entities
274 that received a political issues expenditure of more than $50 from the corporation, and the
275 amount of each political issues expenditure;
276 (b) the total amount of political issues expenditures disbursed by the corporation; and
277 (c) a paragraph signed by the corporation's treasurer or chief financial officer verifying
278 the accuracy of the verified financial statement.
279 Section 8. Section 20A-11-802 is amended to read:
280 20A-11-802. Political issues committees -- Financial reporting.
281 (1) (a) Each registered political issues committee that has received political issues
282 contributions totaling at least $750, or disbursed political issues expenditures totaling at least
283 $50 during a calendar year on current or proposed statewide ballot propositions, to influence an
284 incorporation petition or an incorporation election, or on initiative petitions to be submitted to
285 the Legislature, shall file a verified financial statement with the lieutenant governor's office:
286 (i) on January 5, reporting contributions and expenditures as of December 31 of the
287 previous year;
288 (ii) seven days before the date of an incorporation election, if the political issues
289 committee has received donations or made disbursements to affect an incorporation;
290 (iii) at least 3 days before the first public hearing held as required by Section
291 20A-7-204.1 ;
292 (iv) at the time the sponsors submit the verified and certified initiative packets to the
293 county clerk as required by Section 20A-7-206 ;
296 (b) The political issues committee shall report:
297 (i) a detailed listing of all contributions received and expenditures made since the last
298 statement; and
299 (ii) for financial statements filed on September 15 and before the general election, all
300 contributions and expenditures as of three days before the required filing date of the financial
302 (c) The political issues committee need not file a statement under this section if it
303 received no contributions and made no expenditures during the reporting period.
304 (2) (a) That statement shall include:
305 (i) the name, address, and occupation of any individual that makes a political issues
306 contribution to the reporting political issues committee, and the amount of the political issues
308 (ii) the identification of any publicly identified class of individuals that makes a
309 political issues contribution to the reporting political issues committee, and the amount of the
310 political issues contribution;
311 (iii) the name and address of any political issues committee, group, or entity that makes
312 a political issues contribution to the reporting political issues committee, and the amount of the
313 political issues contribution;
314 (iv) the name and address of each reporting entity that makes a political issues
315 contribution to the reporting political issues committee, and the amount of the political issues
317 (v) for each nonmonetary contribution, the fair market value of the contribution;
318 (vi) except as provided in Subsection (2)(c), the name and address of each individual,
319 entity, or group of individuals or entities that received a political issues expenditure of more
320 than $50 from the reporting political issues committee, and the amount of each political issues
322 (vii) for each nonmonetary expenditure, the fair market value of the expenditure;
323 (viii) the total amount of political issues contributions received and political issues
324 expenditures disbursed by the reporting political issues committee;
325 (ix) a paragraph signed by the political issues committee's treasurer or chief financial
326 officer verifying that, to the best of the signer's knowledge, the financial statement is accurate;
328 (x) a summary page in the form required by the lieutenant governor that identifies:
329 (A) beginning balance;
330 (B) total contributions during the period since the last statement;
331 (C) total contributions to date;
332 (D) total expenditures during the period since the last statement; and
333 (E) total expenditures to date.
334 (b) (i) Political issues contributions received by a political issues committee that have a
335 value of $50 or less need not be reported individually, but shall be listed on the report as an
336 aggregate total.
337 (ii) Two or more political issues contributions from the same source that have an
338 aggregate total of more than $50 may not be reported in the aggregate, but shall be reported
340 (c) When reporting political issue expenditures made to circulators of initiative
341 petitions, the political issues committee:
342 (i) need only report the amount paid to each initiate petition circulator; and
343 (ii) need not report the name or address of the circulator.
344 Section 9. Severability clause.
345 (1) Except as provided in Subsection (2), it is the intent of the Legislature that if any
346 provision of this act, or the application of any provision of this act to any person or
347 circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of this act shall be given effect without the invalid
348 provision or application.
349 (2) It is the intent of the Legislature that:
350 (a) Subsection 20A-7-201 (1)(a)(ii) is not severable from Subsection
351 20A-7-201 (1)(a)(i); and
352 (b) Subsection 20A-7-201 (2)(a)(ii) is not severable from Subsection
353 20A-7-201 (2)(a)(i).
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