Capitol Alert

California initiative backers keep up fund-raising pace

Gov. Jerry Brown 2018-19 budget proposal includes a plan to extend the amount of time youth offenders can stay in juvenile detention facilities instead of being sent to prison.
Gov. Jerry Brown 2018-19 budget proposal includes a plan to extend the amount of time youth offenders can stay in juvenile detention facilities instead of being sent to prison. rpench@sacbee.com

They aren’t yet officially on the November ballot, but 10 would-be fall initiatives are being readied with healthy fundraising efforts.

In the weeks since the May 20 deadline to submit initiative signatures, the campaigns pushing the measures have reported collecting more than $3.2 million. The biggest recipient has been the campaign to increase cigarette taxes by $2 a pack, to $2.87, with Save Lives California raising more than $1.1 million.

Almost all of that came from the California State Council of Services Employees, which donated $1 million on May 31.

Backers of the sentencing reform measure initiated by Gov. Jerry Brown have raised more than $765,000 since May 20. The bulk of that came from the California Democratic Party, which gave $500,000 to Californians for Public Safety and Rehabilitation on Wednesday.

And the campaign to cap hospital executives pay received another $325,000 from its sponsor, SEIU United Health Care Workers West.

At county election offices around the state, meanwhile, workers are conducting random samples of millions of signatures turned in last month even as they finish official counts from this month’s elections.

Sacramento County finished its petition sampling this week. Other counties in the region are still working on it, with time of the essence: June 30 is the certification deadline for the Nov. 8 ballot and only counties that get their signature-checking work done by then are eligible to claim state money to cover costs.

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