Two California governance reform groups have combined forces and resurrected a budget accountability initiative using what every successful ballot measure needs: Cash.
With matching $3 million pledges, billionaire Nicolas Berggruen and his California Think Long Committee is joining forces with California Forward, a government reform organization led by former Contra Costa Supervisor Sunne Wright McPeak and former Democratic Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg.
The Think Long Committee last week announced it would postpone its reform initiative until 2014.
A petition for a ballot initiative to abolish the California High-Speed Rail Authority was approved for circulation Tuesday.
The measure seeks voter approval of a constitutional amendment to eliminate the body tasked with overseeing a high speed rail system linking Northern California to Southern California. Voters in Nov. 2010 passed Proposition authorizing $9.95 in general obligation bonds to get the project underway. However, in recent months, the project has come under increasing criticism for the planned route, costs and management. The Authority CEO resigned earlier this month.
Days before his death in October 2004, Christopher Reeve went before cameras one last time. Instead of playing Superman or another role, Reeve appeared as himself in TV commercials urging California voters to approve Proposition 71. The ballot measure authorized the state to borrow $3 billion over 10 years to use toward stem cell research at universities and institutions statewide.
“Stem cells have already cured paralysis in animals. Stem cells are the future of medicine,” Reeve declared. “Please support Prop 71. And, stand up for those that can’t.”
The billionaire insurance baron-backed ballot measure to surcharge millions of California drivers by 40% has qualified for the November 2012 ballot, according to the California Secretary of State. Mercury Insurance Chairman George Joseph, who has already contributed over $8 million to the ballot measure, will reprise the company’s previous effort to enact auto insurance surcharges with Proposition 17, which Californians rejected in June 2010 despite $16 million in deceptive advertising by Mercury.
Billionaire Nicolas Berggruen’s Think Long Committee for California will not press a ballot measure this year to alter the state’s tax system, a move seen helping Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to put a tax measure to voters.
Berggruen’s bipartisan group of business and civic leaders said in a statement on Tuesday that it would put its proposal for an independent Citizens Council for Government Accountability on hold.
Gov. Jerry Brown is taking a mulligan, tripped up by a typographical error and forced to re-file his ballot initiative to raise taxes.
The Democratic governor on Friday filed paperwork with the state for “The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012- ver. 2.” The measure is identical to one Brown filed in December, the governor said in a filing with the attorney general’s office, “except that we have corrected a typographical error that resulted in two numbers being transposed.”
Re-filing an initiative can delay the attorney general’s preparation of its title and summary, potentially condensing the period for a proponent to gather signatures and making that effort more expensive.
A proposed California ballot initiative to require parental notification for abortions and another initiative to end the death penalty both won the support of the state’s Catholic bishops, who say the proposals will bring “common sense, compassion and prudent justice” to public policy.
Both initiatives bring into focus “important moral issues” about how society treats “nascent life, family life, and even a sinful or errant life.”
Lawmakers and child advocates are seeking greater penalties against sex traffickers and pimps to combat the growing industry of human trafficking. Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, threw her support behind a ballot initiative effort to increase fines and prison time for human traffickers called the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act.
“We’ve collectively been ignorant about how prevalent the crime is here,” Speier told the Daily Journal yesterday. Speier kicked off a signature-gathering effort in San Francisco yesterday alongside Chris Kelly, Facebook’s former privacy officer, Marc Klass and others to support the CASE Act, which needs 750,000 signatures to qualify for the November state ballot.
A proposed ballot initiative could make harder for undocumented immigrants to be deported from California.
The initiative, called the “California Opportunity and Prosperity Act.” was filed last month. The law would decriminalize eligible undocumented immigrants and make deporting them a lower priority.
To qualify for the program, undocumented immigrants would have had to lived in the United States before 2008, have no felonies on their criminal record, speak English and have paid their taxes.
The measure’s supporters say the program funding would come from registration fees.
Opponents of California’s Dream Act have failed in a signature-gathering drive aimed at overturning the new law that will permit some undocumented immigrants to receive publicly funded college aid.
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly informed supporters of the referendum drive through a written statement today that the campaign had fallen short of qualifying for the ballot.
The effort garnered 447,514 signatures, not the required 504,760 valid voter signatures required to place the matter before voters, Donnelly said.
It’s an embarrassment that California, the state that led the technology revolution in America, is, according to Digital Learning Now, last in the nation in using technology to transform its education system from its current factory-model roots into a student-centric one.
California policy has done its best to create a byzantine—some might say bizarre—set of regulations to frustrate the power of online learning to do just that. From geographic barriers that limit the ability of students in certain locales to access online learning to restricting blended learning in some unfortunate ways, California has created a maze to frustrate would-be innovators.
Sacramento — In his first year back as California’s leader, Gov. Jerry Brown was unable to get what he wanted.
Voters returned Brown to the Capitol for a third term after he campaigned as a seasoned, no-nonsense veteran who knew how to get things done. But Brown didn’t anticipate how much Capitol politics had changed in his 28-yearabsence.
He re-entered office last January pushing a plan to allow Californians to decide whether to raise taxes or face further cuts to government services. The effort failed because the governor did not get a handful of necessary Republican votes to place a tax measure on the ballot.
The committee advocating that the Poway City Council have term limits has collected more signatures than required to place the matter on the November 2012 ballot, according to its leader. City Councilman Dave Grosch said Sunday night that the signatures of 3,121 people have been collected on the initiative petitions. He said the committee’s goal is to have more than 3,400 signatures when the petitions are turned in next Monday.
Los Angeles city officials have filed suit to block a proposed ballot initiative requiring porn actors to wear condoms during film shoots. City officials contend that the proposed measure is unnecessary and will waste taxpayer money, the Associated Press reports. The suit, filed Thursday, says state laws mandating workplace safety already address the need for protective barriers to be used when workers are exposed to blood-borne pathogens such as HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Opponents of a plan to remake Cotati’s downtown into a narrower street that includes roundabouts have told city officials they will pursue a ballot initiative unless they change course. The initiative would bar the city from building roundabouts anywhere within its limits. Its backers want the city to adhere to a concept it previously outlined, a four-lane street controlled by traffic lights.