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A measure to change current term limit laws for state legislators looks unlikely to appear on the November ballot.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen directed county election officials today to conduct a full verification of voter signatures on petitions submitted by proponents, a process likely to extend past the June 24 deadline for qualifying for the November ballot.

Validity rates for a sample of signatures from all 58 counties projected that proponents turned well over the roughly 694,000 valid voter signatures needed to qualify for the ballot, but not enough to qualify in the random sample process. Counties now have 30 days to verify every signature submitted.

The initiative, backed by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, would create a 12-year cap on legislative terms, allowing lawmakers to serve 12 years consecutively in one house or split the time between the Assembly and the Senate. Currently, lawmakers can serve up to 14 years -- three two-year terms in the Assembly and two four-year terms in the Senate. The new limits would not apply to politicians already in office or elected in 2010.

The campaign behind the measure, called "Californians for a Fresh Start," has reported raising more than $1.6 million and spending more than $1.4 million on paid signature gatherers.

Campaign spokesman Matt Klink expressed confidence that the measure would qualify during the full count validation process, which would place it on the ballot in the next statewide election after November.

Klink said the delay would not affect the conditions and implementation date.

"Our coalition of business, labor and reform groups remains committed to passing a term limit reform ballot measure that does not benefit current legislators and is the next step in reform to reduce politicians' time in office," he said.


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