A formal request for a referendum on ABx 28 was filed with the office of Attorney General Kamala Harris on Friday afternoon by lobbyist Charles Halnan.
Halnan lobbies for, among other companies, Amazon.
The state constitution requires backers of a referendum to gather, within 90 days, voter signatures equaling five percent of the total vote in the most recent gubernatorial election. That looks to be about 504,000 signatures once the petition is cleared by the AG.
Of course, one question raised during last year's debate over Proposition 25 was whether a budget-related bill like this one is eligible for a referendum. Before Prop 25, budget-related bills were generally seen as not eligible, given that they were approved by a supermajority and given that they took effect immediately. For those who would construe that to be synonymous with an "urgency" statute, the constitution would seem to say it's not eligible. But others will no doubt say that these aren't synonymous. A clarification by the courts may be needed on this one.
"This is a referendum on jobs and investment in California," said Amazon vice president Paul Misener in an emailed statement. "As Governor Brown has made clear, it is important to directly involve the citizens of California in key issues and we believe that Californians will want to vote to protect small business and keep jobs in the state."
The bill in question was pegged as being worth $200 million to the budget's revenue solution. And, as has been reported before, it may not be the last attempt to undo the fiscal plan signed by Governor Jerry Brown on June 30.
Two different groups of local leaders -- in San Diego and in Monterey -- today railed against the budget's plan to abolish and then re-create local redevelopment agencies, with San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders saying his community would hand over what amounted to "ransom" money to the state... but only until a lawsuit is filed in the near future.
No early reaction from Brown to today's news of a referendum attempt against the online sales tax bill.
I've uploaded a PDF of the referendum request, which hasn't yet appeared on the attorney general's website.