ARTICLE XI - LOCAL GOVERNMENT 1-15 :: California Constitution

SEC. 1.  (a) The State is divided into counties which are legal
subdivisions of the State.  The Legislature shall prescribe uniform
procedure for county formation, consolidation, and boundary change.
Formation or consolidation requires approval by a majority of
electors voting on the question in each affected county.  A boundary
change requires approval by the governing body of each affected
county.  No county seat shall be removed unless two-thirds of the
qualified electors of the county, voting on the proposition at a
general election, shall vote in favor of such removal.  A proposition
of removal shall not be submitted in the same county more than once
in four years.
   (b) The Legislature shall provide for county powers, an elected
county sheriff, an elected district attorney, an elected assessor,
and an elected governing body in each county.  Except as provided in
subdivision (b) of Section 4 of this article, each governing body
shall prescribe by ordinance the compensation of its members, but the
ordinance prescribing such compensation shall be subject to
referendum.  The Legislature or the governing body may provide for
other officers whose compensation shall be prescribed by the
governing body.  The governing body shall provide for the number,
compensation, tenure, and appointment of employees.

SEC. 2.  (a) The Legislature shall prescribe uniform procedure for
city formation and provide for city powers.
   (b) Except with approval by a majority of its electors voting on
the question, a city may not be annexed to or consolidated into

SEC. 3.  (a) For its own government, a county or city may adopt a
charter by majority vote of its electors voting on the question.  The
charter is effective when filed with the Secretary of State.  A
charter may be amended, revised, or repealed in the same manner.  A
charter, amendment, revision, or repeal thereof shall be published in
the official state statutes.  County charters adopted pursuant to
this section shall supersede any existing charter and all laws
inconsistent therewith.  The provisions of a charter are the law of
the State and have the force and effect of legislative enactments.
   (b) The governing body or charter commission of a county or city
may propose a charter or revision.  Amendment or repeal may be
proposed by initiative or by the governing body.
   (c) An election to determine whether to draft or revise a charter
and elect a charter commission may be required by initiative or by
the governing body.
   (d) If provisions of 2 or more measures approved at the same
election conflict, those of the measure receiving the highest
affirmative vote shall prevail.

SEC. 4.  County charters shall provide for:
   (a) A governing body of 5 or more members, elected (1) by district
or, (2) at large, or (3) at large, with a requirement that they
reside in a district.  Charter counties are subject to statutes that
relate to apportioning population of governing body districts.
   (b) The compensation, terms, and removal of members of the
governing body.  If a county charter provides for the Legislature to
prescribe the salary of the governing body, such compensation shall
be prescribed by the governing body by ordinance.
   (c) An elected sheriff, an elected district attorney, an elected
assessor, other officers, their election or appointment,
compensation, terms and removal.
   (d) The performance of functions required by statute.
   (e) The powers and duties of governing bodies and all other county
officers, and for consolidation and segregation of county officers,
and for the manner of filling all vacancies occurring therein.
   (f) The fixing and regulation by governing bodies, by ordinance,
of the appointment and number of assistants, deputies, clerks,
attaches, and other persons to be employed, and for the prescribing
and regulating by such bodies of the powers, duties, qualifications,
and compensation of such persons, the times at which, and terms for
which they shall be appointed, and the manner of their appointment
and removal.
   (g) Whenever any county has framed and adopted a charter, and the
same shall have been approved by the Legislature as herein provided,
the general laws adopted by the Legislature in pursuance of Section 1
(b) of this article, shall, as to such county, be superseded by said
charter as to matters for which, under this section it is competent
to make provision in such charter, and for which provision is made
therein, except as herein otherwise expressly provided.
   (h) Charter counties shall have all the powers that are provided
by this Constitution or by statute for counties.

SEC. 5.  (a) It shall be competent in any city charter to provide
that the city governed thereunder may make and enforce all ordinances
and regulations in respect to municipal affairs, subject only to
restrictions and limitations provided in their several charters and
in respect to other matters they shall be subject to general laws.
City charters adopted pursuant to this Constitution shall supersede
any existing charter, and with respect to municipal affairs shall
supersede all laws inconsistent therewith.
   (b) It shall be competent in all city charters to provide, in
addition to those provisions allowable by this Constitution, and by
the laws of the State for:  (1) the constitution, regulation, and
government of the city police force (2) subgovernment in all or part
of a city (3) conduct of city elections and (4) plenary authority is
hereby granted, subject only to the restrictions of this article, to
provide therein or by amendment thereto, the manner in which, the
method by which, the times at which, and the terms for which the
several municipal officers and employees whose compensation is paid
by the city shall be elected or appointed, and for their removal, and
for their compensation, and for the number of deputies, clerks and
other employees that each shall have, and for the compensation,
method of appointment, qualifications, tenure of office and removal
of such deputies, clerks and other employees.

SEC. 6.  (a) A county and all cities within it may consolidate as a
charter city and county as provided by statute.
   (b) A charter city and county is a charter city and a charter
county.  Its charter city powers supersede conflicting charter county

SEC. 7.  A county or city may make and enforce within its limits all
local, police, sanitary, and other ordinances and regulations not in
conflict with general laws.

SEC. 7.5.  (a) A city or county measure proposed by the legislative
body of a city, charter city, county, or charter county and submitted
to the voters for approval may not do either of the following:
   (1) Include or exclude any part of the city, charter city, county,
or charter county from the application or effect of its provisions
based upon approval or disapproval of the city or county measure, or
based upon the casting of a specified percentage of votes in favor of
the measure, by the electors of the city, charter city, county,
charter county, or any part thereof.
   (2) Contain alternative or cumulative provisions wherein one or
more of those provisions would become law depending upon the casting
of a specified percentage of votes for or against the measure.
   (b) "City or county measure," as used in this section, means an
advisory question, proposed charter or charter amendment, ordinance,
proposition for the issuance of bonds, or other question or
proposition submitted to the voters of a city, or to the voters of a
county at an election held throughout an entire single county.

SEC. 8.  (a) The Legislature may provide that counties perform
municipal functions at the request of cities within them.
   (b) If provided by their respective charters, a county may agree
with a city within it to assume and discharge specified municipal

SEC. 9.  (a) A municipal corporation may establish, purchase, and
operate public works to furnish its inhabitants with light, water,
power, heat, transportation, or means of communication.  It may
furnish those services outside its boundaries, except within another
municipal corporation which furnishes the same service and does not
   (b) Persons or corporations may establish and operate works for
supplying those services upon conditions and under regulations that
the city may prescribe under its organic law.

SEC. 10.  (a) A local government body may not grant extra
compensation or extra allowance to a public officer, public employee,
or contractor after service has been rendered or a contract has been
entered into and performed in whole or in part, or pay a claim under
an agreement made without authority of law.
   (b) A city or county, including any chartered city or chartered
county, or public district, may not require that its employees be
residents of such city, county, or district; except that such
employees may be required to reside within a reasonable and specific
distance of their place of employment or other designated location.

SEC. 11.  (a) The Legislature may not delegate to a private person
or body power to make, control, appropriate, supervise, or interfere
with county or municipal corporation improvements, money, or
property, or to levy taxes or assessments, or perform municipal
   (b) The Legislature may, however, provide for the deposit of
public moneys in any bank in this State or in any savings and loan
association in this State or any credit union in this State or in any
federally insured industrial loan company in this State and for
payment of interest, principal, and redemption premiums of public
bonds and other evidence of public indebtedness by banks within or
without this State.  It may also provide for investment of public
moneys in securities and the registration of bonds and other
evidences of indebtedness by private persons or bodies, within or
without this State, acting as trustees or fiscal agents.

SEC. 12.  The Legislature may prescribe procedure for presentation,
consideration, and enforcement of claims against counties, cities,
their officers, agents, or employees.

SEC. 13.  The provisions of Sections 1(b) (except for the second
sentence), 3(a), 4, and 5 of this Article relating to matters
affecting the distribution of powers between the Legislature and
cities and counties, including matters affecting supersession, shall
be construed as a restatement of all related provisions of the
Constitution in effect immediately prior to the effective date of
this amendment, and as making no substantive change.
   The terms general law, general laws, and laws, as used in this
Article, shall be construed as a continuation and restatement of
those terms as used in the Constitution in effect immediately prior
to the effective date of this amendment, and not as effecting a
change in meaning.

SEC. 14.  A local government formed after the effective date of this
section, the boundaries of which include all or part of two or more
counties, shall not levy a property tax unless such tax has been
approved by a majority vote of the qualified voters of that local
government voting on the issue of the tax.

SEC. 15.  (a) From the revenues derived from taxes imposed pursuant
to the Vehicle License Fee Law (Part 5 (commencing with Section
10701) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code), or its
successor, other than fees on trailer coaches and mobilehomes, over
and above the costs of collection and any refunds authorized by law,
those revenues derived from that portion of the vehicle license fee
rate that does not exceed 0.65 percent of the market value of the
vehicle shall be allocated as follows:
   (1) An amount shall be specified in the Vehicle License Fee Law,
or the successor to that law, for deposit in the State Treasury to
the credit of the Local Revenue Fund established in Chapter 6
(commencing with Section 17600) of Part 5 of Division 9 of the
Welfare and Institutions Code, or its successor, if any, for
allocation to cities, counties, and cities and counties as otherwise
provided by law.
   (2) The balance shall be allocated to cities, counties, and cities
and counties as otherwise provided by law.
   (b) If a statute enacted by the Legislature reduces the annual
vehicle license fee below 0.65 percent of the market value of a
vehicle, the Legislature shall, for each fiscal year for which that
reduced fee applies, provide by statute for the allocation of an
additional amount of money that is equal to the decrease, resulting
from the fee reduction, in the total amount of revenues that are
otherwise required to be deposited and allocated under subdivision
(a) for that same fiscal year.  That amount shall be allocated to
cities, counties, and cities and counties in the same pro rata
amounts and for the same purposes as are revenues subject to
subdivision (a).

Last modified: January 4, 2019