California Forward, the reform group that has been working on a set of governance reforms for a number of years must make a decision – will the group file the signatures gathered under the auspices of their “action” division to put the reform initiative on the November ballot?
The group has been pressured from different sides to scuttle the measure. Negotiations have been going on with the legislature to find an agreeable path to pass some of the reforms while avoiding major opposition that is gathering to oppose the ballot measure.
The main objection the proposals face from both public labor groups and some business and taxpayer groups focus on the provision in the initiative called “pay-go.” That provision requires any legislative tax cuts or spending programs to the tune of $25-million or more to designate a source to make up the lost funds or pay for the new program.
Labor objects because labor leaders think the measure acts as a spending cap. Some business and taxpayer groups are concerned that no future tax cuts would be possible.
Cal Forward is considering the drum beat of protests. There is the possibility that Cal Forward could file the signatures and still negotiate with the legislature for an alternative reform package. If they get what they want they could later abandon the initiative even if it is on the ballot.
All indications are that Cal Forward has secured enough signatures to qualify for the ballot – and spent a lot of supporters’ dollars in doing so.
Will the initiative be filed or will the group succumb to the same special interest pressure that has derailed many legislative reforms — something supporters of California Forward have criticized the legislature for in the past.