By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
Published: Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

The California Legislature acted unconstitutionally when it approved a bill moving Gov. Jerry Brown’s initiative to raise taxes to the top of the November ballot, an appeals court ruled Friday.

The opinion does not affect the passage of Proposition 30 but could limit the Legislature’s future use of so-called “spot bills,” placeholder bills included in budget packages and passed as urgency measures only after they are filled with language later. Such budget-related bills are useful to lawmakers because they require only a majority vote and take effect immediately.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal ruled that the state constitution does not allow the Legislature to include empty spot bills in the budget package and to fill them with content as urgency bills later.

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