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Bid to block California ballot measure costs taxpayers

August 8, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Backers of a pending criminal justice initiative say California taxpayers are on the hook for nearly $60,000 in legal fees after a judge rejected former Gov. Jerry Brown’s attempt to bounce it from next year’s ballot.

Brown argued the measure lacked enough valid signatures to roll back a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2016. It allows most prison inmates to seek earlier parole and participate in rehabilitation programs.

A Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled against the former governor in May. The ballot measure’s backers said Wednesday that an agreement with state officials requires the state to pay their legal costs.

The initiative’s backers say the challenge wasted the court’s time and taxpayers’ money.

Attorneys representing the state and the former governor did not return telephone and email messages.

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