On September 11, the California legislature passed AB 469 by 60-11. It lowers the number of signatures for statewide office, for candidates unwilling or unable to pay the filing fee, from 10,000 signatures to 7,000. It lowers the number for State Senate and U.S. House from 3,000 to 2,000. It lowers the number for Assembly from 1,500 to 1,000.
These petitions need not be completed. If they are only partially completed, then there is a proportional decrease in the filing fee. The California filing fees are higher than the fees of most states. For statewide office the fee is 2% of the office’s annual salary; for district office, 1%.
The bill now goes to Governor Jerry Brown. It also eliminates the ability of in lieu of petitions to be supplemented if the original petition doesn’t have enough signatures to completely eliminate the fee, but it makes it legal to start circulating these petitions earlier than under the existing law. The bill received a two-thirds vote in each house of the legislature, so that it can take effect immediately instead of January 1, 2018.