Cal Forward and legislative leaders discuss compromise on budget reform measure

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A group called California Forward says it's ready to submit signatures for a ballot measure that would make some major changes to the state's budget process.

But Democratic legislative leaders are wary of some of the measure's provisions, and so the two sides are discussing a compromise.

California Forward’s measure includes changes like a two-year budget process, a pay-as-you-go requirement and a 72-hour waiting period before a budget bill could be voted on. It also would let counties alter state spending mandates.

“It’s no secret to us that there are some who would prefer not to see any reform initiatives on the ballot," says Roger Salazar, a representative of the campaign. "But the truth is that in some way, shape or form, there will be some reform measure on the ballot in 2012 — and what that measure will ultimately be is up to the legislative leadership.”

Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says he’s nervous about several provisions, but others (like requiring performance goals in budgets) make sense.

A deal could lead to the legislature itself placing parts of the California Forward proposal on the November ballot.

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