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 another. 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 A charter may be amended, revised, or repealed in the same manner.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 powers. 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 functions. 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 consent. (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 functions. (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