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S.B. 66

This document includes Senate Committee Amendments incorporated into the bill on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 9:16 AM by lpoole. -->              1     

REFERENDUM REVISIONS

             2     
2013 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Stuart C. Reid

             5     
House Sponsor: Don L. Ipson

             6     

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill amends and enacts provisions relating to a referendum petition to challenge a
             10      law passed by a local legislative body.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    describes requirements for a referendum petition to challenge a law passed by a
             14      local legislative body;
             15          .    provides that when a clerk declares a referendum petition to be sufficient:
             16              .    the law challenged in the referendum does not take effect unless and until the
             17      law is approved by a vote of the people;
             18              .    the budget officer for the local government, in consultation with the attorney for
             19      the local government, shall determine whether, and to what extent, repealing the
             20      law has fiscal or legal implications, and shall prepare an unbiased, good faith
             21      written estimate of the fiscal and legal impact that will occur if the law is
             22      repealed; and
             23              .    the local legislative body shall hold a public hearing to consider the estimate and
             24      determine whether to repeal the law that is challenged by the referendum;
             25          .    describes requirements relating to the written estimate; and
             26          .    provides for a legal challenge of the written estimate.
             27      Money Appropriated in this Bill:



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             28
         None
             29      Other Special Clauses:
             30          None
             31      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             32      AMENDS:
             33          11-14-301, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 204
             34      ENACTS:
             35          20A-7-607.5, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             36      REPEALS AND REENACTS:
             37          20A-7-601, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 72
             38     

             39      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             40          Section 1. Section 11-14-301 is amended to read:
             41           11-14-301. Issuance of bonds by governing body -- Computation of indebtedness
             42      under constitutional and statutory limitations.
             43          (1) If the governing body has declared the bond proposition to have carried and no
             44      contest has been filed, or if a contest has been filed and favorably terminated, the governing
             45      body may proceed to issue the bonds voted at the election.
             46          (2) (a) It is not necessary that all of the bonds be issued at one time, but, except as
             47      otherwise provided in this Subsection (2), bonds approved by the voters may not be issued
             48      more than 10 years after the day on which the election is held.
             49          (b) The 10-year period described in Subsection (2)(a) is tolled if, at any time during the
             50      10-year period:
             51          (i) an application for a referendum petition is filed with a local clerk, in accordance
             52      with Section 20A-7-602 and Subsection 20A-7-601 [(4)](1)(a), with respect to the local
             53      obligation law relating to the bonds; or
             54          (ii) the bonds are challenged in a court of law or an administrative proceeding in
             55      relation to:
             56          (A) the legality or validity of the bonds, or the election or proceedings authorizing the
             57      bonds;
             58          (B) the authority of the local political subdivision to issue the bonds;



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             59
         (C) the provisions made for the security or payment of the bonds; or
             60          (D) any other issue that materially and adversely affects the marketability of the bonds,
             61      as determined by the individual or body that holds the executive powers of the local political
             62      subdivision.
             63          (c) A tolling period described in Subsection (2)(b)(i) ends on the later of the day on
             64      which:
             65          (i) the local clerk determines that the petition is insufficient, in accordance with
             66      Subsection 20A-7-607 (2)(c), unless an application, described in Subsection 20A-7-607 (4)(a), is
             67      made to the Supreme Court;
             68          (ii) the Supreme Court determines, under Subsection 20A-7-607 (4)(c), that the petition
             69      for the referendum is not legally sufficient; or
             70          (iii) for a referendum petition that is sufficient, the governing body declares, as
             71      provided by law, the results of the referendum election on the local obligation law.
             72          (d) A tolling period described in Subsection (2)(b)(ii) ends after:
             73          (i) there is a final settlement, a final adjudication, or another type of final resolution of
             74      all challenges described in Subsection (2)(b)(ii); and
             75          (ii) the individual or body that holds the executive powers of the local political
             76      subdivision issues a document indicating that all challenges described in Subsection (2)(b)(ii)
             77      are resolved and final.
             78          (e) If the 10-year period described in Subsection (2)(a) is tolled under this Subsection
             79      (2) and, when the tolling ends and after giving effect to the tolling, the period of time
             80      remaining to issue the bonds is less than one year, the period of time remaining to issue the
             81      bonds shall be extended to one year.
             82          (f) The tolling provisions described in this Subsection (2) apply to all bonds described
             83      in this section that were approved by voters on or after May 8, 2002.
             84          (3) (a) Bonds approved by the voters may not be issued to an amount that will cause
             85      the indebtedness of the local political subdivision to exceed that permitted by the Utah
             86      Constitution or statutes.
             87          (b) In computing the amount of indebtedness that may be incurred pursuant to
             88      constitutional and statutory limitations, the constitutionally or statutorily permitted percentage,
             89      as the case may be, shall be applied to the fair market value, as defined under Section 59-2-102 ,



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             90
     of the taxable property in the local political subdivision, as computed from the last applicable
             91      equalized assessment roll before the incurring of the additional indebtedness.
             92          (c) In determining the fair market value of the taxable property in the local political
             93      subdivision as provided in this section, the value of all tax equivalent property, as defined in
             94      Section 59-3-102 , shall be included as a part of the total fair market value of taxable property
             95      in the local political subdivision, as provided in Title 59, Chapter 3, Tax Equivalent Property
             96      Act.
             97          (4) Bonds of improvement districts issued in a manner that they are payable solely
             98      from the revenues to be derived from the operation of the facilities of the district may not be
             99      included as bonded indebtedness for the purposes of the computation.
             100          (5) Where bonds are issued by a city, town, or county payable solely from revenues
             101      derived from the operation of revenue-producing facilities of the city, town, or county, or
             102      payable solely from a special fund into which are deposited excise taxes levied and collected by
             103      the city, town, or county, or excise taxes levied by the state and rebated pursuant to law to the
             104      city, town, or county, or any combination of those excise taxes, the bonds shall be included as
             105      bonded indebtedness of the city, town, or county only to the extent required by the Utah
             106      Constitution, and any bonds not so required to be included as bonded indebtedness of the city,
             107      town, or county need not be authorized at an election, except as otherwise provided by the Utah
             108      Constitution, the bonds being hereby expressly excluded from the election requirement of
             109      Section 11-14-201 .
             110          (6) A bond election is not void when the amount of bonds authorized at the election
             111      exceeded the limitation applicable to the local political subdivision at the time of holding the
             112      election, but the bonds may be issued from time to time in an amount within the applicable
             113      limitation at the time the bonds are issued.
             114          Section 2. Section 20A-7-601 is repealed and reenacted to read:
             115          20A-7-601. Referendum challenging local law -- Signature requirements -- Public
             116      hearing.
             117          (1) An individual who seeks to have a law that was passed by a local legislative body
             118      submitted to a vote of the people shall:
             119          (a) within five days after the day on which the law is passed, file an application for a
             120      referendum petition in accordance with the requirements of Section 20A-7-602 ; and



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             121
         (b) obtain legal signatures of individuals who are registered to vote in the area subject
             122      to the jurisdiction of the local government in which the law applies in S. each voting precinct or
             122a      subprecinct in .S an amount equal to or
             123      greater than:
             124          (i) for a jurisdiction entirely within a county of the first class, 20% of all votes cast in
             125      the jurisdiction for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election in which
             126      a president of the United States was elected; or
             127          (ii) for a jurisdiction other than a jurisdiction described in Subsection (1)(b)(i), 30% of
             128      all votes cast in the jurisdiction for all candidates for president of the United States at the last
             129      election in which a president of the United States was elected.
             130          (2) If the clerk for the applicable jurisdiction declares a referendum petition relating to
             131      a law described in Subsection (1) sufficient:
             132          (a) the law does not take effect unless and until the law is approved by a vote of the
             133      people;
             134          (b) the local clerk or recorder shall submit a copy of the application described in
             135      Subsection (1)(a) to the budget officer for the jurisdiction within three business days after the
             136      day on which the clerk declares that the referendum petition is sufficient; and
             137          (c) after the fiscal and legal impact estimate described in Section 20A-7-607.5 is
             138      completed, the local legislative body shall hold at least one public hearing to:
             139          (i) review the fiscal and legal impact estimate;
             140          (ii) take testimony from supporters and opponents of the law; and
             141          (iii) determine whether to submit the law to a vote of the people or to repeal the law.
             142          (3) If the local legislative body repeals a law described in Subsection (1) before the
             143      election day on which the law will otherwise be submitted to a vote of the people S. [ , ] :
             143a      (a) .S the law may
             144      not be submitted to a vote of the people S. [ . ] ; and
             144a      (b) any votes cast for or against the referendum may not be counted. .S
             145          (4) If a referendum challenging a law described in Subsection (1) passes, the law is
             146      repealed on the day of the election at which the law is submitted to a vote of the people.
             147          Section 3. Section 20A-7-607.5 is enacted to read:
             148          20A-7-607.5. Estimate of referendum's fiscal and legal impact -- Petition
             149      challenging estimate.
             150          (1) Within 25 days after the day on which the budget officer for the local government
             151      that passed the law being challenged by referendum receives a copy of an application under



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             152
     Subsection 20A-7-601 (2)(b), the budget officer shall, in consultation with the attorney for the
             153      local government:
             154          (a) determine whether, and to what extent, repealing the law has fiscal or legal
             155      implications, including whether repealing the law may impact the legal rights of an individual;
             156          (b) prepare an unbiased, good faith written estimate of the fiscal and legal impact that
             157      will occur if the law is repealed, including:
             158          (i) a total dollar amount representing the fiscal and legal impact of repealing the law;
             159          (ii) a dollar amount representing the total increase or decrease in taxes that will occur if
             160      the law is repealed;
             161          (iii) for each type of tax that will increase or decrease if the law is repealed, the total
             162      dollar amount of the increase or decrease;
             163          (iv) a dollar amount representing the increase or decrease of public liability or debt if
             164      the law is repealed, due to:
             165          (A) an adverse impact on a person's legal rights; or
             166          (B) the issuance of, or change in the status of, bonds, notes, or other debt instruments;
             167          (v) a list of all funding sources that will be impacted by the estimated fiscal impact of
             168      the law's repeal; and
             169          (vi) in accordance with Subsection (2), a concise summary, of 100 words or less, of the
             170      information described in Subsections (1)(b)(i) through (v);
             171          (c) mail, or personally deliver, a copy of the written estimate described in Subsection
             172      (1)(b) to the first five sponsors named in the application; and
             173          (d) prepare an unbiased, good faith estimate of the cost of including the written
             174      estimate described in Subsection (1)(b) in the voter information pamphlet.
             175          (2) (a) If the budget officer described in Subsection (1), in consultation with the
             176      attorney for the local government, determines that repealing the law is unlikely to have fiscal or
             177      legal implications, the budget officer shall include in the written estimate described in
             178      Subsection (1)(b) a summary statement in substantially the following form:
             179          "The (title of the local budget officer) estimates that, if passed, the referendum will
             180      have no significant fiscal or legal impact, no significant impact on vested property rights, and
             181      will not result in an increase or decrease in taxes or public debt."
             182          (b) If the budget officer described in Subsection (1), in consultation with the attorney



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             183
     for the local government, determines that repealing the law is likely to have fiscal or legal
             184      implications, the budget officer shall include in the written estimate described in Subsection
             185      (1)(b) a summary statement in substantially the following form:
             186          "The (title of the local budget officer) estimates that the referendum, if passed, will
             187      result in a total fiscal (expense or savings, as applicable), including a (type of tax) tax (increase
             188      or decrease, as applicable) of $______ and a $______ (increase or decrease, as applicable) in
             189      public debt and will impact vested property rights of _____ owners, which may require earlier
             190      action taken to be reversed, or for which the public may be responsible to remedy with
             191      monetary compensation or by other means."
             192          (c) If the budget officer described in Subsection (1), in consultation with the attorney
             193      for the local government, determines that the estimated fiscal or legal impact of repealing the
             194      law is highly variable or otherwise difficult to reasonably express, the budget officer may
             195      include in the summary statement a brief explanation that identifies the factors that make the
             196      estimate highly variable or otherwise difficult to reasonably express.
             197          (d) The brief written explanation described in Subsection (2)(c) is in addition to the
             198      100-word limit described in Subsection (1)(b)(vi), but may not exceed 50 words.
             199          (3) A local legislative body may include the written estimate described in Subsection
             200      (1)(b) in the voter information pamphlet relating to the election where the referendum will be
             201      submitted to a vote of the people.
             202          (4) (a) Three or more of the sponsors named in the application described in Subsection
             203      (1) may, within 20 days after the day on which a copy of the written estimate is mailed to, or
             204      personally served on, the five sponsors described in Subsection (1)(c), file a petition with the
             205      Utah Supreme Court, alleging that the written estimate described in Subsection (1)(b) is, taken
             206      as a whole, materially inaccurate.
             207          (b) There is a presumption that the written estimate is accurate, based on reasonable
             208      assumptions and data, and applies accepted analytical methods.
             209          (c) The sponsors described in Subsection (4)(a) have the burden of rebutting the
             210      presumption described in Subsection (4)(b) by clear and convincing evidence.
             211          (d) The Supreme Court may refer an issue related to the accuracy of the written
             212      estimate to a master in accordance with Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 53.
             213           S. [ (e) The Supreme Court shall certify to the clerk or recorder of the local government
             213a      a ].S



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             214
     S. [ written estimate that complies with the requirements of this section. ] .S





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