7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill amends provisions of the Election Code relating to referenda.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 ▸ addresses requirements relating to the referendum process for challenging a state
14 ▸ provides that the deadline for filing an application to circulate a referendum petition
15 challenging a state law occurs five days after the later of:
16 • the last day of the legislative session at which the law passed;
17 • the day on which the governor signs the law; or
18 • the day on which the law becomes a law because the governor fails to veto or
19 sign the law;
20 ▸ extends the effective date, under certain circumstances, of a state law challenged by
21 referendum; and
22 ▸ makes technical changes.
23 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
25 Other Special Clauses:
27 Utah Code Sections Affected:
29 20A-7-101, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapters 364 and 396
30 20A-7-301, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 17
31 20A-7-302, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1995, Chapter 153
32 20A-7-306, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 17
33 20A-7-307, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 17
35 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
36 Section 1. Section 20A-7-101 is amended to read:
37 20A-7-101. Definitions.
38 As used in this chapter:
39 (1) "Action date" means, in relation to a state law that is the subject of a referendum
40 petition, the later of:
41 (a) the last day of the legislative session at which the law passed;
42 (b) the day on which the governor signs the law; or
43 (c) the day on which the law becomes a law because the governor fails to veto or sign
44 the law, as provided in Utah Constitution Article VII, Section 8, Subsection (2).
46 (a) for a county, the person designated as budget officer in Section 17-19a-203;
47 (b) for a city, the person designated as budget officer in Subsection 10-6-106(5); or
48 (c) for a town, the town council.
50 the signature of a registered voter.
52 petition to legal voters for their signature.
54 voters approve an initiative that contains the information required by Subsection
55 20A-7-202.5(2) or 20A-7-502.5(2).
57 (a) a financial statement prepared under Section 20A-7-202.5 after the filing of an
58 application for an initiative petition; or
59 (b) a financial and legal statement prepared under Section 20A-7-502.5 or 20A-7-602.5
60 for an initiative or referendum petition.
62 in this chapter.
64 proposed law, and the signature sheets, all of which have been bound together as a unit.
66 (a) meet the numerical requirements of this chapter; and
67 (b) have been certified and verified as provided in this chapter.
69 (a) is registered to vote; or
70 (b) becomes registered to vote before the county clerk certifies the signatures on an
71 initiative or referendum petition.
73 in whose jurisdiction a local initiative or referendum petition is circulated.
75 jurisdiction a local initiative or referendum petition is circulated.
77 comprehensive zoning regulation adopted by ordinance or resolution.
78 (b) "Local law" does not include an individual property zoning decision.
82 body regarding a bond that was approved by a majority of qualified voters in an election.
84 annual or biannual calendar fiscal year, that increases a tax or imposes a new tax.
88 by a local legislative body is submitted or referred to the voters for their approval or rejection.
90 the law being submitted or referred to the voters for their approval or rejection, and the
91 signature sheets, all of which have been bound together as a unit.
93 (b) "Signature" does not mean an electronic signature.
95 used to collect signatures in support of an initiative or referendum.
97 and who sign the application for petition copies.
99 or referendum petition have been certified and verified as required by this chapter.
101 required in Sections 20A-7-205 and 20A-7-305.
102 Section 2. Section 20A-7-301 is amended to read:
103 20A-7-301. Referendum -- Signature requirements -- Submission to voters.
104 (1) In accordance with Article VI, Section 1, Subsection (2)(a)(i)(B) of the Utah
105 Constitution, a law passed by at least a two-thirds vote of the Legislature is not subject to a
108 vote of the people shall obtain:
110 of this state for all candidates for President of the United States at the last regular general
111 election at which a President of the United States was elected; and
113 all votes cast in that county for all candidates for President of the United States at the last
114 regular general election at which a President of the United States was elected.
116 this part, the governor shall issue an executive order that:
118 general election; or
120 and directs that the referendum be submitted to the voters at that special election.
122 subject of the petition does not take effect unless and until it is approved by a vote of the
123 people at a regular general election or a statewide special election.
125 official canvass of the last regular general election at which a President of the United States
126 was elected:
127 (a) the cumulative total of all votes cast by voters of this state for all candidates for
128 President of the United States; and
129 (b) for each county, the total of all votes cast in that county for all candidates for
130 President of the United States.
131 Section 3. Section 20A-7-302 is amended to read:
132 20A-7-302. Referendum process -- Application procedures.
133 (1) [
134 relation to a law passed by the Legislature that is subject to challenge under Article VI, Section
135 1, Subsection (2)(a)(i)(B) of the Utah Constitution shall file an application with the lieutenant
136 governor within five calendar days after the [
138 (2) The application shall contain:
139 (a) the name and residence address of at least five sponsors of the referendum petition;
140 (b) a certification indicating that each of the sponsors:
141 (i) is a voter; and
142 (ii) has voted in a regular general election in Utah within the last three years;
143 (c) the signature of each of the sponsors, attested to by a notary public; and
144 (d) [
145 Section 4. Section 20A-7-306 is amended to read:
146 20A-7-306. Submitting the referendum petition -- Certification of signatures by
147 the county clerks -- Transfer to lieutenant governor.
148 (1) (a) [
150 county clerk of the county in which the packet was circulated no later than 40 days after the
151 action date.
152 (b) A sponsor may not submit a referendum packet after the deadline established in this
153 Subsection (1).
154 (2) (a) No later than 55 days after the [
156 (i) check the [
157 completed the verification on the last page of each referendum packet to determine whether [
159 years old; and
160 (ii) submit the name of each [
161 (2)(a)(i) who is not a Utah resident or who is not at least 18 years old to the attorney general
162 and county attorney.
163 (b) The county clerk may not certify a signature under Subsection (3) on a referendum
164 packet that is not verified in accordance with Section 20A-7-305.
165 (3) No later than 55 days after the [
167 (a) determine whether each signer is a registered voter according to the requirements of
168 Section 20A-7-306.3;
169 (b) certify on the referendum petition whether each name is that of a registered voter;
171 (c) deliver all of the verified referendum packets to the lieutenant governor.
172 (4) Upon receipt of a referendum packet under Subsection (3) and any statement
173 submitted under Subsection 20A-7-305(3), the lieutenant governor shall remove from the
174 referendum petition a voter's signature if the voter has requested the removal in accordance
175 with Subsection 20A-7-305(3).
176 Section 5. Section 20A-7-307 is amended to read:
177 20A-7-307. Evaluation by the lieutenant governor.
178 (1) When each referendum packet is received from a county clerk, the lieutenant
179 governor shall check off from the record the number of each referendum packet filed.
180 (2) (a) After all of the referendum packets have been received by the lieutenant
181 governor and the lieutenant governor has removed the signatures as required by Section
182 20A-7-306, the lieutenant governor shall:
183 (i) count the number of the names certified by the county clerks that remain on each
184 verified signature sheet; and
185 (ii) declare the petition to be sufficient or insufficient no later than 60 days after the
187 (b) Subject to Subsection 20A-7-301(2), if the law that is the subject of the referendum
188 petition is due to take effect less than 60 days after the action date, the effective date of the law
189 is extended to the day on which the lieutenant governor declares the petition to be sufficient or
192 exceeds the number of names required by Section 20A-7-301 and the requirements of this part
193 are met, the lieutenant governor shall mark upon the front of the petition the word "sufficient."
195 or exceed the number of names required by Section 20A-7-301 or a requirement of this part is
196 not met, the lieutenant governor shall mark upon the front of the petition the word
199 the lieutenant governor's finding.
200 (3) (a) If the lieutenant governor refuses to accept and file any referendum petition, any
201 voter may apply to the supreme court for an extraordinary writ to compel the lieutenant
202 governor to do so within 10 days after the refusal.
203 (b) If the supreme court determines that the referendum petition is legally sufficient,
204 the lieutenant governor shall [
205 (i) file the referendum petition, with a verified copy of the judgment attached to [
207 (ii) designate the filing date of the referendum petition as the date on which [
208 referendum petition was originally offered for filing in the lieutenant governor's office.
209 (c) If the supreme court determines that any petition filed is not legally sufficient, the
210 supreme court may enjoin the lieutenant governor and all other officers from certifying or
211 printing the ballot title and numbers of that measure on the official ballot.
212 (4) A petition determined to be sufficient in accordance with this section is qualified
213 for the ballot.