California: Judge alters ballot language for 2 November initiatives

Wed, Sep 3 2014 — Source: Daily Californian

An Alameda Superior County Court judge issued two rulings regarding contested ballot language for November ballot measures Tuesday.

Two parties of plaintiffs challenged the ballot language for a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks and an initiative regarding development in Downtown Berkeley. In both cases, judge Evelio Grillo decided to amend portions of each ballot measure’s language.

In the case of the “soda tax,” Grillo replaced the phrases “high-calorie, sugary drinks” and “high-calorie, low-nutrition products” in the ballot language and city attorney’s analysis, respectively, with “sugar-sweetened beverages.”

The court found that the language’s characterization of the beverages advocated in favor of the tax and was misleading because the phrases were not defined anywhere in the proposed ordinance.

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