Brown signs, unions smile
October 8, 2011
Labor unions look to be the big winner in the aftermath of Gov. Jerry Brown’s signing Friday of a Democratic bill limiting next year’s initiatives and referendums to the November 2012 ballot.
Democrats’ voter turnout is expected to be higher than in June, and the bill could be a significant asset in labor unions’ battle against a looming effort to impede campaign fund raising from their members. Republican voter turnout is expected to be higher in June.
The bill, by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, was amended at the last moment to incorporate the change, an action that angered the minority party. Hancock said putting initiatives on higher-turnout elections is “good government.”
A majority of California registered voters favor the November placement of ballot measures, according to a recent Field Poll.
Brown himself paved the way for ballot initiatives to go on primary ballots 40 years ago, when, secretary of state, he successfully pushed a political reform initiative to a June test in 1974, the year of his first gubernatorial run.