California voters will likely be asked next year whether to extend the Proposition 30 income taxes on the rich and whether to raise the minimum wage. But it's not yet clear if they’ll be asked those questions once – or twice.
One union – SEIU-UHW – has filed its own ballot initiatives that address two of Democrats' top priorities. Other unions back competing proposals with broader support.
Democratic political consultant Andrew Acosta says such tactics are often used during negotiations. But, he adds, groups must start gathering signatures soon to qualify measures for the November 2016 ballot.
“The clock is ticking, and there are a lot of initiatives on the street,“ Acosta says. “And I think people need to figure out which one is the real deal, because the window will close and there’s just not enough bodies out there to actually gather all the signatures.”
If deals aren’t reached and multiple minimum wage and Prop 30 measures appear on the ballot, the chances of passing any of the initiatives dwindle – even though recent polls suggest a majority of Californians support them.