Earlier this week, a Southern California judge denied a CHA and Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC) request to invalidate an SEIU-UHW petition to put a limit executive compensation in the city of Los Angeles on the March 2024 ballot.
Last month, CHA and HASC filed a lawsuit in Superior Court challenging the executive compensation measure on the grounds that the petition presented to voters was false and, thus, invalid. The basis of the lawsuit was that the text of the measure and the city’s summary of the measure inaccurately listed the U.S. president’s salary as $450,000 per year – which established the initiative’s limit of the same amount for hospital executives. The claim was based on the fact that the initiative limit applies to all forms of compensation. The president’s salary includes many other types of compensation which, if counted, well exceeds $1.2 million.
While there was one prior judicial precedent to support the claim, the judge believed that the initiative’s text, which referred to a single federal statute re: the president’s salary, was accurate. In the judge’s view, the law requires complete falsity before the court can step in to invalidate a petition.
Once the measure has officially qualified for the ballot, the City Council can adopt it outright as an ordinance or refer it to the March 2024 ballot.