California voters heading to the polls in November will consider a package of proposed fixes for state governance that includes changes to the budget process.
The constitutional amendment, backed by the California Forward Issue Action Fund, would switch the state to a two-year, performance-based budgeting process and allow the governor to make cuts on his own in times of fiscal emergency. It would also enact legislative transparency measures and let local governments change and opt out of certain laws and regulations if they enact an alternative local rule that achieves the same goal.
Supporters of the measure, which was certified for the ballot today by Secretary of State Debra Bowen, turned in more than 1.2 million voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. The qualification campaign was aided with a major contribution from billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen, who has pledged to spend $20 million to address California's governance issues.
A coalition of labor and environmental groups and Democratic leaders in the Legislature tried to persuade the measure's backers to ditch their efforts this spring, vowing to launch an opposition campaign.
An attempt to craft a compromise measure that could be placed on the ballot by the Legislature has been unsuccessful.
Twelve measures are slated to appear on the November ballot, though the Legislature is expected to move an $11 billion water bond currently on the list to a different election.
California forward turns in signatures but continues talks
Editor's note: This post was updated at 11 a.m. on June 27 to reflect that an alternative local rule to a state law proposed by a county must meet the goal of the law in question.