Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown signs initiative changes into law

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Saturday giving the proponents of California ballot initiatives more time to collect signatures and allowing them to withdraw their initiatives or add amendments.

The legislation, Senate Bill 1253, by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, will extend to 180 days from 150 days the amount of time proponents have to circulate an initiative.

Proponents of the bill said it would provide more time for input into an initiative from lawmakers or the public, and allow an initiative proponent to withdraw a measure if its goal is satisfied in the meantime by a legislative compromise.

“California’s century-old initiative process is a hallmark of our electoral system and today we’re taking an important step to modernize and strengthen direct democracy,” Brown said in a prepared statement.

Steinberg said in a prepared statement that allowing an initiative proponent to withdraw his or her measure will allow for “reasoned compromise” and improve the initiative process “in a simple but profound way.”

The bill was supported by a range of organizations, including California Common Cause and the California Chamber of Commerce. The California Teachers Association opposed the bill.

The bill was one of numerous measures Brown announced action on Saturday. Earlier his office said he had signed Assembly Bill 13, by Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare, to allow veterans from across the country to pay in-state tuition rates for California schools. The bill brings California into conformance with a federal change in tuition rules making G.I. Bill recipients eligible for in-state tuition at all public universities.

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