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An independent committee backed by billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen announced today that it will support a proposed ballot measure that would make major changes to the state's budget and governance processes.

Berggruen, who previously pledged to spend at least $20 million on the Think Long Committee for California's effort, said the California Forward Issue Action Fund proposal "perfectly reflects both the growing public demand in California for a more accountable government and Think Long's mission of strengthening California's democracy for the long term. "

"We are looking forward to working together with California Forward to take historic steps to increase public confidence in government and are prepared to dedicate ample time and resources to this worthy cause," he said in the statement.

California Forward's Issue Action Fund is gathering voter signatures as part of a qualification campaign for its proposed constitutional amendment, which includes transitioning to a two-year, performance-based budget process and provisions intended to bring more transparency to the legislative process.

Aspects of California Forward's measure were endorsed by Think Long in a late 2011 report outlining the bipartisan panel's recommendations for addressing the state's structural issues.

That report also detailed two proposed ballot measures that the Think Long committee planned to qualify for the 2012 ballot, including a tax hike that would revamp the state's revenue system. But faced with criticism and a crowded ballot, the committee announced this month that it would put its qualification plans on hold until 2014, instead backing existing proposals for this year's elections.


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