If you have a good idea in California, Jerry Brown has made life harder for you to get attention for it.

Before Jerry Brown became governor of California again in 2011, voters could consider ballot initiatives at any statewide election; this spread out measures and gave each initiative more of a chance to make its case. And, before Jerry Brown became governor again, Californians could file any idea they had for an initiative with the state for $200.

Now, Californians no longer have either of these powers.

First, Brown pushed all ballot initiatives to November elections. The supposed goal was to put all the measures on the “general election” ballot so that more people would get to consider them. But November elections aren’t general elections anymore—they are runoffs under the top two system. And pushing ballot initiatives to the same ballot means less time and consideration for each measures.

Brown’s recent approval of a new $2,000 filing fee for initiatives – by far the highest filing fee I’ve seen in the U.S. (and higher than any I’ve found this far looking around the world). This higher fee is supposed to limit access to the process – to have fewer people file. Maybe this will dissuade some nutty people from filing (though it’s not just poorer people who are nutty). But it definitely discourages people who have an idea and not much money.

Let’s also not forget that Brown signed the good-government-group-backed SB 1253, a  highly-touted initiative “reform” legislation that didn’t do much reforming. It offers a small amount of space for compromise with measures and more disclosure, but doesn’t undo the peculiar inflexibility of the process, or the cost of access. When combined with the above two changes, SB 1253 leaves the process less democratic than before – and with all the same problems of inflexibility and access.

Brown has argued, in claiming a California comeback, that the initiative process – through redistricting reform, Prop 25, and Prop 30 – made a comeback possible. But he is leaving that process with all of its problems, and weaker than it was. Truly democratic reform of the initiative process will have to wait for a new generation to rise in California’s civic elite—and for a new governor.