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Senate approves changes to initiative process

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The state Senate approved changes to the state's century-old initiative process with a provision that allows a measure to be withdrawn even after proponents have gathered enough signatures.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat from Sacramento, called the changes to California's direct democracy process “good government reform.” SB1253 passed 29-8 Thursday with bipartisan support and moves to the Assembly.

Sen. Jim Nielsen, a Republican from Gerber, criticized the bill for dampening the state's initiative process, which allows voters the right to enact laws outside the Legislature.

Among the changes, the bill would allow proponents to withdraw their initiative before it is placed on the ballot if they accepted a legislative solution.

Steinberg called it a nonpartisan bill that allows for cooperation between an initiative's supporters and the Legislature.

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