Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

As California’s supporters of same-sex marriage celebrated today’s Supreme Court ruling that overturned the state’s voter-approved ban on gay unions, the president of a conservative law firm lamented what he saw as a blow to the Golden State’s ballot measure process.

“The big issue, from our perspective, was the issue of the rights of the individual to petition their government through the initiative process,” said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute.

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Frustrated by a recent appeals court ruling that invalidates the state’s lethal injection procedures, supporters of the death penalty in California aim to bring a suspended system back to life.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos and other California death penalty supporters hope to circumvent legal challenges to executions through a new initiative measure. It would put in place a single drug injection procedure for inmates who have been sentenced to death, such as the infamous Night Stalker serial killer Richard Ramirez, who died Friday.

Advocates of public employee pension reform are currently collecting petition signatures for three ballot initiatives that would significantly overhaul public pensions. One measure would increase the minimum retirement age for public employees to 65 (58 for public safety officers). Advocates of the measure must collect 807,615 signatures by Feb. 3 for the measure to qualify for a future ballot.

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A projected $21 billion deficit over the next 18 months and failure to prepare the budget on time have caused some to contend it is time for the state Legislature to be demoted. An initiative to reduce the state legislature to part time - meeting no more than 95 days out of the year - has been gaining much attention. Citizens for California Reform have been collecting signatures for nearly a month to get the initiative, called “The Citizen Legislature Act,” on the November 2010 ballot.