Jon Fleischman at FlashReport has a post up today from Citizens in Charge President Paul Jacob discussing the awful legislation currently making its way through the California legislature:

In case you missed Paul’s response to Ballot Initiative Strategy Center’s Justine Sarver last week, the Fox and Hound’s Daily blog has is up today:

Yesterday, an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee by Justine Sarver of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center urged California legislators to clampdown on the state’s initiative and referendum process by passing a number of new restrictions on the rights of Golden State citizens to petition their government.

A proposal to dramatically hike taxes for restaurants and bars in Hermosa Beach is making its way to the November ballot despite growing opposition from the beach town’s business community. The ballot initiative, pushed by activist Jim Lissner, would overhaul the city’s existing business license fee structure by targeting revenue generated from some of the city’s largest moneymakers - bars and restaurants lining Pier Plaza.

Read the story from the Daily Breeze

A coalition led by a group of Stanford University lawyers intends to put an initiative on the November 2012 ballot to reform California’s Three Strikes Law, the harshest such sentencing law in the nation. The group has secured at least one major financial backer, David W. Mills, a former investment banker and Stanford Law School professor. It also hired San Francisco political consultant Averell “Ace” Smith to lead what is expected to be a fiery campaign.

Read the story from San Jose Mercury News

A new initiative looking to alter section 66 of the San Diego City Charter, which governs the San Diego Unified School Board and locks it at five elected members, may be on the ballot as early as November, its authors and supporters say. The San Diego Unified School District Accountability and Student Performance Initiative states that “the District voters are concerned with student performance in the San Diego Unified School District. As many as half of students in elementary and middle schools are not reading or computing math at grade level, with up to 80 percent of students of color failing to reach proficiency.”

A ballot initiative to remove newly installed parking meters in downtown Ventura has enough signatures to go before voters, Ventura City Clerk Elaine Preston said today. The initiative’s authors submitted 10,459 signatures backing their proposal in May. Of those, some 80 percent, or about 8,000, were deemed valid signatures, under a random sample conducted by county elections, the clerk said.

Read the story from the Ventura County Star

The Los Angeles Police Commission has voted to kill the city’s controversial red-light camera program, rejecting claims that the system makes streets safer while costing the city nothing. Tuesday’s vote means that the red-light cameras installed at 32 intersections throughout the city could stop operating within a few weeks unless the City Council takes the unusual step of stripping the Police Commission of its authority over the issue.

Read the story from the Los Angeles Times

Santa Monica CameraThe Los Angeles Police Commission voted Tuesday to kill the city’s red light enforcement camera program, unanimously rejecting arguments that the cameras increase safety.

Thirty-three years ago today Californians passed Proposition 13 through the citizen initiative process, and forever changed the tax system in the state.

Jon Fleischman of Flashreport has a column today about this influencial piece of citizen legislation:

We now know that “Pubulus” represents the collected works of the founding fathers James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton were the authors of the Federalist Papers, and that “Brutis,” “Centinel” and the “Federalist Farmer” represent the works of anti-federalists such as Patrick Henry. At the time of the debate over ratification of the US Constitution, the fundamental document of our nation’s government, the true identities of all these men weren’t known. Citizens were forced to [gasp] decide the issues based on the merit of the arguments made, not the perception of the people making the arguments.

SFO SealCurrent San Francisco law prohibits the Mayor and members of the Board of Supervisors from altering or repealing voter-approved laws, but city lawmakers may consider passing what amounts to a “Cut the Voters Out Act.”

Hermosa voters will decide in November whether to impose steep increases in the business license tax for nightspots that serve liquor, stay open late and are clustered near similar establishments. Hermosa Beach officials have verified that activist Jim Lissner has received more than the required number of signatures on petitions to place the initiative before Hermosa voters. In California, such taxes may be raised only by a vote of the people.

Read the story from Easy Reader News

A group in Compton is trying to get a measure on the ballot that would prevent the city from ending its contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department without a vote of residents. A group led by former City Clerk Charles Davis, with backing from the sheriff’s deputies union, submitted petitions to the city Wednesday for a ballot measure that would modify Compton’s charter. The petitioners submitted 9,898 signatures, well over the 15% of registered voters required to call a special election. Compton currently has 40,197 registered voters, according to the clerk’s office, which would set the mark at 6,030.

A measure outlawing circumcision in Santa Monica may be on the fall ballot if its proponents get enough support. A Notice of Intent to Circulate a Petition for an initiative called “Genital Cutting of Male Minors” signed by Jena Troutman was filed with the City Clerk Friday. A similar measure made it onto San Francisco’s ballot Wednesday. The proposed ordinance has already drawn criticism.

Read the story from The Lookout News