SACRAMENTO – The week, Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher (Yuba City) filed an amicus brief with the California Supreme Court, opposing the lawsuit brought by Governor Newsom and Democratic Legislative leaders to remove the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act preemptively from the November 2024 ballot. Gallagher was joined on the amicus brief by former Democratic Legislators Don Perata and Joe Coto, along with the California Farm Bureau Federation.
“In a stunning attempt to undermine California voters’ authority, the governor and Legislative leaders are taking the near unprecedented action of using the courts to stop Californians from deciding a ballot measure,” said Gallagher. “The governor often claims to be a champion of democracy, yet he is afraid of letting voters decide whether they deserve commonsense protections on how California spends their money. This amicus brief is a way to give a voice to the millions of Californians who want a greater say in how they are taxed.”
The amicus brief filed by Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher and the broader coalition of leaders and organizations counters many of the arguments made in the governor’s lawsuit, including the claim that creating a voter approval requirement on state taxes is not allowed under California’s democracy system. The amicus brief rightfully points out that the Taxpayer Protection Act builds on the foundation created by Proposition 13 and other popular voter-approved taxpayer rights ballot measures that courts have upheld. It also counters the argument that the Taxpayer Protection Act will cause a fiscal emergency for state and local governments, identifying that government agencies have complied with similar voter initiatives in the past.
“As an additional insult to voters, there was never a vote by the Legislature authorizing the lawsuit or using public funds to pay for it,” stated Gallagher.
The Taxpayer Protection Act is fully qualified for the November 2024 ballot. It would require voter approval of all state and local taxes while creating new transparency and accountability measures for how taxes are approved and how politicians spend tax revenue.
The lawsuit remains ongoing and must be decided before June 27, the final day an initiative can be placed on the November ballot.