Ballot Measures

John Myers
May 20, 2016 – 10:56 A.M.

Gov. Jerry Brown, still awaiting word on the legality of his plan to revamp the state’s parole laws, nonetheless submitted petition signatures on Friday to earn the measure a spot on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Brown’s ballot initiative remains under review by the California Supreme Court , after a Sacramento judge ruled that Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris had erred by approving last-minute changes in its wording. If Brown loses that case, the initiative would be barred from the fall statewide ballot.

The initiative, unveiled in late January , would allow early release for some prison inmates who are serving sentences for nonviolent felonies and who earn credits for education and other programs. It would also allow judges the discretion to keep some juveniles from being tried as adults.

Elections officials now must seek to verify the signatures collected by Brown’s campaign team, a process in which petition circulators were paid as much as $5 per signature. By law, the initiative needs 585,407 valid signatures.

In a speech to business leaders on Wednesday, the governor called the initiative “a system of incentives” for some prisoners to focus on their rehabilitation.

“I think it’s pretty reasonable,” Brown told the group.

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