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Initiative to change California's legislative rules moves toward November ballot

Initiative to change California's legislative rules moves toward November ballot

 (Ken James / Bloomberg)
(Ken James / Bloomberg)

Almost every bill considered by the Legislature would have to be in print for at least three days under a proposed initiative that's likely on its way to the Nov. 8 ballot.

Backers of the California Legislature Transparency Act said Thursday that they have collected more than 930,000 voter signatures for their proposal -- far more than are needed, if elections officials certify that enough of them are valid.

The proposal, championed by GOP donor Charles Munger Jr., would also require all legislative hearings to be videorecorded and posted online. And it would erase the existing limits on using video of those hearings, which would mean that clips of legislative meetings could be used in political campaign ads.

“Voters are making it clear that they are fed up with special interest legislation being passed in the middle of the night, without time for input or careful consideration of how new laws impact them," said former GOP legislator Sam Blakeslee in an emailed statement.

Some of the Legislature's most impactful work -- from the state budget to bond measures and beyond -- often is passed through bills that were quickly drafted and put up for a vote in the Assembly and Senate. Critics of the proposed initiative argue that political deal-making sometimes requires last minute action, and that the 72-hour mandate is too extreme.

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