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Momentum Builds For California’s Part-Time Legislature Proposal

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California Governor Jerry Brown (C) is applauded by Speaker of the Assembly John Perez (L) Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (R) before delivering the State of the State address at the California State Capitol on January 31, 2011 in Sacramento, California. One month after taking office, Gov. Brown delivered the State of the State address to a joint session of the California State legislature. (Sullivan/Getty Images)

California Governor Jerry Brown (C) is applauded by Speaker of the Assembly John Perez (L) Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (R) before delivering the State of the State address at the California State Capitol on January 31, 2011 in Sacramento, California. One month after taking office, Gov. Brown delivered the State of the State address to a joint session of the California State legislature. (Sullivan/Getty Images)

ChrisFilippi 20100909_KCBS_0379r Chris Filippi
Chris is a proud graduate of Castro Valley High School and San Jose...
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SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – Proponents of an initiative that would turn California’s Legislature into a part-time body are already raising money for their cause. They also hope to qualify the measure for the next November ballot.

Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) is proposing the change – a proposal that would limit lawmakers to meeting only about three months per year unless they were called into a special session by the governor.

“We used to have a part-time legislature back in the 1960s when we were the fifth largest economy, now we’ve slumped to the eighth largest economy, Texas does it, Florida does it, those are very large economies and they work on a part-time basis,” Grove reasoned.

“It reduces the legislators’ pay from about $95,000 a year to $1,500 a month,” she added.

Critics, however, call the idea irresponsible, alleging that it would weaken lawmakers’ oversight over public services.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

The proposal has been filed with the state Attorney General’s office, the first step toward gathering the more than 807,000 signatures needed to place the measure on the ballot.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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