A proposal to convert the Legislature to part time will not make it on the ballot this year.
The campaign will continue to collect signatures, however, in hopes of placing the issue before voters in 2014, said Ted Costa of People's Advocate, a co-leader of the drive.
Costa said the petition drive has collected between 200,000 and 300,000 of the 807,615 voter signatures needed to qualify the constitutional amendment for a statewide ballot.
The deadline for gathering the necessary signatures is July 2, but that would be too late to qualify for elections this year.
The secretary of state's office recommended that signatures be submitted by April 20 for November balloting. Costa conceded Thursday that time has run out for a vote this year.
"That's pretty much the way it is," said Costa, who is spearheading the drive along with Bakersfield Republican Assemblywoman Shannon Grove.
Costa said that other initiative campaigns have driven up the price for signature gathering, hurting his initiative, which has been bankrolled by relatively small donations rather than by a wealthy investor, a major political party or Capitol interest groups.
Costa characterized the campaign as in a "fall back, regroup and charge ahead" mode.
Signature-gatherers for various other initiative drives should be off the streets in a week or two, which should create more opportunities for his campaign, Costa said.
The measure calls for the Legislature in the nation's most populous state 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 proposal also would require the Legislature 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.
If passed by voters, the initiative would bar lawmakers from accepting state employment or being appointed to a state post while serving in the Capitol or for five years afterward.
Steve Maviglio, a Democratic strategist helping to fight the proposal, said he is not surprised that it will not be on the November ballot because it was not popular with voters.
"It's something that sounds good on right-wing talk radio, but when voters think about it, they realize it makes little sense," he said. "You don't solve the problems of the Legislature by cutting down the amount of time they're here."
The initiative campaign has reported about $200,000 in donations, a tiny sum for a drive needing to collect more than 800,000 voter signatures. A Field Poll in late February found that voters were not sold on the idea of a part-time Legislature: 45 percent of registered voters opposed the concept, compared with 39 percent who supported it.