SB 135 Requires a newly formed Fair Ballot Commission to approve fair ballot language and ballot summary statements
Sponsor: Sater
LR Number: 0488S.01I Fiscal Note available
Committee: Financial and Governmental Organizations and Elections
Last Action: 2/18/2013 - Hearing Conducted S Financial and Governmental Organizations and Elections Committee Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2013

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Current Bill Summary


SB 135 - Currently, the Secretary of State prepares fair ballot language statements describing ballot measures that are posted at polling places next to the sample ballot. This act requires that the Secretary of State submit the language to a newly created Fair Ballot Commission for approval. Similarly, ballot summary statements (which are part of the official ballot title) shall be approved by the Commission.

The Commission is comprised of eight members. The pro tem and minority leader of the Senate and the speaker and minority leader of the House of Representatives shall each appoint one attorney licensed in the state and one private citizen of the state who is not an attorney to establish membership.

In the case of fair ballot language statements, such statements shall be approved by a majority of the Commission. If a statement is not so approved, the statement shall be returned to the Secretary of State along with an alternative statement approved by the majority of the Commission. All statements shall include the current law governing the topic of the proposed change along with the fiscal impact on state and local governments.

In the case of ballot summary statements, such statement shall be approved by a majority of the Commission and delivered to the Secretary of State upon approval and within 10 days of receipt of the statement from the Attorney General. If the statement is not approved, the statement shall be returned to the Secretary of State with an alternative statement approved by a majority of the Commission within 10 days of receipt of the statement from the Attorney General. If the statement is not approved or returned with alternative language within the allotted 10 days, the statement shall be deemed to have been approved.

This act is similar to SCS/SB 35 (2009).

CHRIS HOGERTY