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Calif. Gov. Submits Signatures for Measure

May 4, 2005

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday turned in thousands of petition signatures supporting ballot measures he wants to put before voters in a November special election.

But Schwarzenegger said he is still interested in reaching compromise solutions with Democratic leaders before a mid-June deadline for calling the election.

``Our doors are open for negotiation,″ he said.

The move comes as Schwarzenegger’s popularity has hit new lows and Democratic opposition to his proposals have grown in strength.

The governor and his supporters are pushing three constitutional amendments that would put new limits on state spending, lengthen the time it takes public school teachers to earn tenure and give authority for redrawing legislative and congressional districts to a panel of retired judges.

Schwarzenegger on Wednesday turned in about 26,000 signatures for the teacher tenure initiative, a proposed statute that needs valid signatures of at least 373,816 registered voters to make the ballot.

The other two measures are constitutional amendments that need at valid signatures of at least 598,105 registered voters to qualify.

Schwarzenegger has more than a month to decide whether to call the special election or allow the measures to be considered at the next regular election in June 2006.

Democratic leaders criticized Schwarzenegger Wednesday for pushing ahead with the petition drive.

``Where he is leading this state now is into political chaos,″ said Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.

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