Senate passes bill to provide information on initiative costs

With a strong bipartisan 41-8  vote, the Senate has passed SB 5715, a measure that would require ballot initiatives to include fiscal impact information. The Associated Press reports

It seeks to include the potential fiscal impact of the measure on the actual ballot if it costs or reduces spending by more than $25 million over two years. The wording on the ballot would tell voters that “other state spending may need to be reduced or taxes increased to implement the proposal.”

This year, voter-approved Initiative 1351, a multi-billion dollar unfunded class size reduction mandate, has complicated legislative budget deliberations. Lawmakers suspect the narrowly-approved measure slipped by because voters were unaware of the cost consequences.

We’ve previously written about efforts to increase information available to voters on ballot issues here and here.