Sacramento, CA—A referendum has put on hold a 37 word bill which would have opened up restrooms, locker rooms and showers in K-12 public schools to students “irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.” Known as the Co-ed Bathroom Bill, Assembly Bill 1266 originally was due to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. But voters in all 58 of California’s counties have put on the brakes by submitting more than 600,000 signatures to the Secretary of State.
Under Article II, §9 of the California Constitution, the People have reserved to themselves their inherent power to review statutes enacted by lawmakers. “The voters are essentially part of the legislative process,” said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute. “Through the referendum, they either approve or veto the law,” Dacus continued.
There has been some confusion about what constitutes a referendum. By its nature, a referendum involves a law that has been passed by the Legislature, but not gone into effect. Because the signatures have been filed, the implementation of the law is suspended until the final signature tally. After that, the law will continue to lie dormant until the voters render their judgment in the November 2014 election.