October 2023 Update Re: Local Governments on High Alert as New Statewide Ballot Measure Seeks to Restrict State and Local Revenue
A statewide initiative seeking to further restrict the ability of state and local governments to raise public funds through fees and taxes is ready to appear on the November 2024 ballot. Given the potential dire consequences of this measure, many local governments are taking actions now to address it.
SMW Partner Andrew Schwartz taught Land Use Law at UC Berkeley School of Law for the Spring Semester 2021-2022 and will repeat the class Spring Semester 2022-2023. Mr. Schwartz also teaches Land Use Law at Stanford Law School.
With FPPC Enforcement on the Rise, Public Agencies Navigate Gray Area in Use of Public Funds for Election Communications
Local agencies walk a fine line when producing effective informative materials for ballot measures without inadvertently ‘campaigning’. This article reviews current FPPC rules around spending public money to inform the electorate, how to steer clear of enforcement gray areas, and opportunities for the Legislature to authorize limited public agency electoral campaigns.
Cities and counties face significant challenges in raising funds for basic services and special programs. Chief among these, local governments must receive two-thirds voter approval before imposing a tax to fund designated programs. However, under a series of recent court rulings, voter-sponsored initiatives for special taxes need only be approved by a simple majority. This article discusses this new revenue opportunity, and how courts have thus far viewed local officials’ involvement in these efforts.
SMW partner Andrew Schwartz is once again teaching Land Use Law at Stanford Law School for the fall quarter 2021-2022. The course focuses on the pragmatic (more than theoretical) aspects of contemporary land use law and policy, including the tools and historical/legal foundation of modern land use law; zoning and General Plans; the process of land development; affordable housing; growth […]
The State Legislature’s burst of new housing legislation has significant implications for use of the initiative power. Find out more about SB10’s explicit shift of power to local legislatures and other ways in which the new laws may complicate planning and zoning initiatives.
San Francisco – Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP is proud to announce the addition of two new partners, Sara A. Clark and Sarah H. Sigman. Both attorneys were associates of the firm before joining the partnership. “We are excited to have Sara Clark and Sarah Sigman join our team of partners,” said Richard S. Taylor, […]
In 2018, on behalf of the City of San Jose, the firm drafts and defends a first-of-its kind charter amendment to prevent a developer-sponsored initiative from gutting the City’s General Plan.
Photo Credit: Will Mayall Capitola residents submit an initiative to ensure that the Capitola Trestle will be preserved and maintained for bicyclists and pedestrians. The firm successfully defends the measure in a pre-election challenge brought by the City (City of Capitola v. Fridy). Capitola voters pass the initiative in November 2018.
The firm and Earthjustice prevail in challenging an initiative that purported to approve a development agreement for the World Logistics Center, a massive warehouse project near low-income communities in Riverside County. The court of appeal holds that local initiatives may not be used to adopt development agreements. (Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice v. […]