Section 2 of the bill grants to the registered electors of every county of the state, including the residents of any unincorporated portion of such county, initiative powers similar to those reserved by the people of the state under the state constitution with respect to all countywide legislation of every character in and for their respective counties. The initiative powers granted by the bill also extend to the registered electors of any special taxing district created by a county with respect to all legislation of every character in and for such district.
In order to exercise the right of initiative granted by the bill, the registered electors of a county acting as the petitioners of the proposed initiative may submit a proposed ordinance or other form of legislation (proposed ordinance) to the board of county commissioners of the county (county board) by filing written notice of the proposed ordinance with the county clerk and recorder. Within 180 days after the notice, the petitioners are required to file with the county clerk and recorder an initiative petition signed by at least 5% of the registered electors of the entire county voting in the last general election. However, if the proposed ordinance affects only a geographic portion of the entire county, the number of signatures required is equal to 5% of the registered electors in only the affected geographic portion of the county.
Section 2 of the bill also specifies duties placed upon the county clerk and recorder in determining whether the signature requirement has been met, certifying the text of the proposed ordinance, and determining whether only a geographic portion of the county is affected by the proposed ordinance.
The proposed ordinance may be adopted without alteration by the county board within 20 days following the final determination that the petition is legally sufficient. If the county board fails to adopt the proposed ordinance, the bill requires the legislative body to publish the proposed ordinance in the same manner as other ordinances or forms of legislation are published and to refer the proposed ordinance to the registered electors of the county for their approval or rejection at a regular or special election held not less than 60 days and not more than 150 days after final determination of the sufficiency of the petition. If the proposed ordinance affects only a geographic portion of the county, the proposed ordinance must be referred to only those registered electors residing within the affected geographic portion of the county.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)