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Hurting financially, an initiative campaign to convert the Legislature to part-time has shut down its paid signature-gathering effort, essentially killing any hopes of submitting petitions to the state by a July 2 deadline.

Ted Costa of People's Advocate, a leader in the drive, said he expects the initiative proposal to be refiled with the state, though no final decision has been made to do so. A meeting to consider the issue is planned, he said.

Refiling would restart the clock in collecting signatures, with the goal of qualifying for the 2014 ballot.

Costa said the current campaign had collected perhaps 300,000 to 400,000 voter signatures, but money was running low. The drive needed 807,615 voter signatures to reach the ballot.

"I don't think we're underwater," Costa said of campaign coffers. "I think we stopped it so we wouldn't go underwater."

Roughly 300 to 500 signatures continue to arrive each day from a volunteer network, Costa said. That volume of signatures shows interest from a segment of voters, but it would not be enough to meet the July 2 deadline.

The part-time Legislature proposal calls for California's Assembly and Senate to meet three months per year, and for lawmakers' pay to be cut from $7,940 per month to $1,500 per month - or $18,000 annually.

The measure also would require lawmakers to adopt a balanced, two-year budget by June 15 of each odd-numbered year, and to forfeit salary and per diem for each day it is late.

Costa was teaming with Republican Assemblywoman Shannon Grove of Bakersfield to lead the campaign.


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