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California lawmaker pushes ballot measures on budget, constitution

December 12, 2012 |  9:30 am

The supermajority held by Democrats in the California Legislature appears to have emboldened lawmakers to think big this session, with several talking about changing the state Constitution now that Republican votes are no longer needed to put measures on the ballot.

So far members have proposed 13 ballot measures.

The latest come from State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), who this week introduced two ballot measures including Senate Concurrent Resolution 2, which would initiate an independent review of the California Constitution with the aim of coming up with recommendations for improvements.

DeSaulnier also has introduced Senate Constitutional Amendment 6, which would prohibit submitting future initiatives to the voters that add to state costs unless they also include a new source of revenue to cover those costs. Both of his proposals would need a two-thirds vote of both houses of the Legislature to be placed on the ballot, something more likely this year than in past years.

"Through independent review of our state Constitution and greater fiscal accountability in the initiative process, these measures will provide solutions to the deficiencies that have plagued our state’s budget and Constitution," DeSaulnier said in a statement.

In proposing creation of the Constitutional Revision Commission, he cited a recent survey by the Public Policy Institute of California that showed voter support for reforms that make state government more effective.

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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

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