(AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation giving local governments the chance to negotiate deals to withdraw ballot initiatives.
The bill signed Friday allows initiative proponents to withdraw them up to 88 days before an election. It extends a controversial option that already exists for state ballot measures to the local level.
Proponents of three ballot initiatives withdrew them this month following negotiations with state lawmakers. In once instance, lawmakers agreed to ban local taxes on soda and sugary drinks in exchange for the industry dropping an initiative that would have made it much harder to raise local taxes of any kind.
Critics say the procedure allows powerful interests to weaponize the ballot process to secure concessions. Others say it brings lawmakers to the table on issues they'd otherwise avoid.