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Ballot Initiative

November 8, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
The Board of Supervisors scuttled a proposed ballot initiative over the Boy Scouts, citing concerns that it could further divide the community. The proposed measure stated among other things that Scouting is "wholesome and worthwhile," and it criticized supervisors for a March 30 resolution condemning the Scouts' policy of excluding homosexuals.
February 20, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - A healthcare workers union will launch its signature-gathering effort for a hospital pricing ballot measure Thursday, marking the latest front in a looming initiative fight that will pit labor against hospitals.  Thursday's event in Sacramento is the latest in a series of kickoff events SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West has held throughout to state to start its signature drive. This time, they're gathering right at their adversary's front door: outside the headquarters of the California Hospital Assn.
July 2, 2000
Re "Supervisors Block Initiative From Ballot," June 21. As one of the declining number of veterans of World War II, which was fought to save democracy and the ability of American citizens to freely vote, the Ventura County Supervisors' recent actions regarding the tobacco settlement money make me wonder if the democracy concept is still alive. Sufficient American citizens signed an initiative concerning the disposition and control of the tobacco tax money. That alone should mandate that the initiative be included in the next election, not tangled in a legal quagmire.
January 30, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - A legal dispute may postpone a campaign battle over public pensions, which was poised to become one of the most high-profile and expensive fights this year. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and his allies are filing a lawsuit saying that the official description of their proposed ballot initiative was innaccurately worded by the state attorney general's office. Such descriptions can be highly contentious because they are sometimes the only information voters receive about far-reaching issues on the ballot.
January 21, 1998
California's experiment in direct democracy, particularly its love-hate relationship with the ballot initiative, was launched in 1911 to break the Southern Pacific Railroad's iron rule over state government. Nearly 90 years later, citizens and reformers still see the initiative as their check on special interests and a way to bypass the Legislature when it refuses to respond to the public need.
June 9, 2004 | From Associated Press
A bill to prevent Alaska governors from making long-term appointments to the U.S. Senate is now law -- without Gov. Frank H. Murkowski's signature. Legislators passed the bill after it became clear that a citizens initiative to do about the same thing had enough signatures to go on the November ballot. Lt. Gov. Loren Leman said the new law would knock that question off the ballot. The governor has 20 days to sign or veto a bill.
May 27, 1998 | JAMES FLANIGAN
Prosperity has returned at last to Southern California's economy. Now if only wisdom were to follow, we could be assured the region will fulfill its great potential in the years ahead. But the ballot initiatives for Tuesday's statewide primary election are characterized by argument and division, not wisdom. And that promises to reinforce a worrisome trend of bitter differences that constantly threatens progress in Southern California's economy.
March 17, 1986
Backers of a proposed statewide ballot initiative to have AIDS declared a communicable disease subject to quarantine say they have collected almost 40% of the signatures needed to qualify the initiative for the November election. The Prevent AIDS Now Initiative Committee has gathered 120,00 to 150,000 of the 393,385 signatures required by May 24, according to Brian Lantz, a candidate in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary.
February 7, 1994 | PEGGY Y. LEE
The Ventura City Council is expected Monday to adopt a mandatory $200 deposit for ballot initiative petitions. The fee will be refunded after city officials verify that the signatures on the petitions are valid, City Clerk Barbara Kam said. Kam said the rule is being established "to stymie frivolous initiatives." But Kam acknowledged that few ballot initiatives have been introduced in the city's history.
March 12, 2010 | By Margot Roosevelt
A fight has split backers of a November ballot initiative to suspend California's 2006 global warming law. "Big money interests have come in and shut out the people," said Ted Costa, chief executive of the Sacramento-based anti-tax organization People's Advocate, one of the initiative's original sponsors. Costa, whose populist group has promoted conservative ballot propositions for more than two decades, had drafted the initiative along with Assemblyman Dan Logue (R-Marysville)
January 28, 2014 | By Anthony York
Ron Unz is back. The software engineer who authored a 1998 ballot initiative to end bilingual education, and challenged Gov. Pete Wilson in the 1994 Republican primary, is now out to make the conservative case for increasing the state's minimum wage to $12 per hour. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a measure last year that will make California's minimum wage the highest of any state at the nation -- $10 per hour by 2016. But that, Unz says, is not enough. He has a new ballot measure that would raise the state minimum wage to $12 per hour, a move Unz says could save the state tens of millions of dollars in welfare payments.
December 26, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Californians could be faced in November with a proposal to dramatically alter the pension and benefit system for public employees. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has submitted a statewide ballot initiative that would allow government agencies to negotiate changes to current employees' future retirement benefits, reversing the long-standing principle that once a public employee is hired, his or her retirement benefits cannot be reduced. Public employee unions are already gearing up for a major fight over Reed's initiative, which he could put on the ballot as soon as 2014 (or as late as 2016)
November 16, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
ALBUQUERQUE - A high-desert city in one of the poorest states in the nation has become the abortion debate's latest battlefield and a testing ground for whether abortion limits can be imposed on the local level. Early voting is underway in Albuquerque for an election Tuesday, which will decide whether to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Although similar bans have been passed by state legislatures, New Mexico's largest city is believed to be the first municipality in the country to place such an initiative on a ballot.
November 4, 2013 | By Alana Semuels
Voters in tiny SeaTac might be drawing the most attention when they go to polls Tuesday to vote on raising the minimum wage for airport and hotel workers to $15 an hour. But SeaTac isn't the only localized battle where advocates are trying to gather support for raising the minimum wage. Frustrated by a federal minimum wage bill that has gone nowhere, people in half a dozen other states are trying to get folks a raise. New Jersey is the closest to seeing some sort of change. Voters there will decide Tuesday whether to raise the minimum wage to $8.25 an hour  from the current rate of $7.25.
October 23, 2013 | By Robin Abcarian
On the Venice Boardwalk, the pot hawkers come at you like carnival barkers. In their green scrubs, armed with business cards, they beckon passersby to enter their narrow shops. “Do you have a headache? A backache? Come on in, our doctor is very high quality,” a green-clad barker said. “Do you have cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, insomnia or depression?” If you did, you were in luck. The doctor was in. The doctor is always in. Tuesday, I visited the Green Doctors, a hole-in-the-wall storefront next to Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom, where 40 bucks gets you a physician visit, and 25 bucks more gets you a medical marijuana card, the only legal way to buy pot in California.
October 21, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
Five years ago, the major social issue on the ballot was Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that banned gay marriage in California until it was invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year. Next year, it may be a referendum on a new law involving transgender students. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill allowing students to participate in school programs and use school facilities that match their gender identity, not their physical sex. For example, a student who was born male but is transgender and lives as a female would be able to use the girl's bathroom.
October 12, 1999
Voters may soon decide the fate of the controversial Glendora Marketplace development, which would bring a Home Depot, Sam's Club and other stores to an area known as the old strawberry patch. City Council members voted 4 to 0 to have the city attorney draft a ballot initiative to allow developers to build a 400,000-square-foot retail center on Lone Hill Avenue. The council will decide Oct. 26 on the final wording of the measure and the election date.
August 10, 2005 | Sam Farmer
Determined to keep alive the Rose Bowl's chances to land an NFL team, a Pasadena city councilman is putting the finishing touches on a ballot initiative that would allow voters to decide whether the city should move forward with a proposal. Councilman Chris Holden said he planned to submit the paperwork this week that would allow him to begin collecting the 10,700 signatures necessary to put an NFL deal on the ballot.
September 4, 2013 | By Elaine Woo
For Barbara Coe, everything changed the day she accompanied an elderly friend to an Orange County social services center in 1991. "I walked into this monstrous room full of people, babies and little children all over the place, and I realized nobody was speaking English," the South Dakota native later told the Washington Post. "I was overwhelmed with this feeling: 'Where am I? What's happened here?'" When she learned from a welfare counselor that immigrants who had entered the country illegally qualified for the same public benefits that had been denied her friend, a U.S. citizen, Coe began her journey from political neophyte to fiery crusader against the demographic tide that was transforming California.
July 25, 2013 | By Anthony York
The fight to raise the cap on awards in medical malpractice cases was officially joined on Thursday with groups backed by litigators filing a ballot initiative that could be before voters next year, and a coalition of doctors and hospitals responding with a new political committee to defeat the proposal. At issue is a 38-year-old California law that limits the amount of money that juries can award for non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases to $250,000. The initiative filed on Thursday would raise that cap, adjusting the award level for inflation -- currently about $1.1 million -- and allowing subsequent annual adjustments.
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