On the Ballot or Not? Count Down to Earned Sick Time Measure
Organizers of the Earned Sick Time initiative met a Monday 10:00 a.m. deadline to re-file a lawsuit challenging Orange County Commission efforts to block the initiative from being placed before voters in November.
On Sunday, a three-judge panel threw out the earlier lawsuit that had been filed by supporters of the measure, indicating that the target ought not to be Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, but the Commission as a whole.
The County has until 1:00 p.m., Monday to respond to the new lawsuit, after which the panel is expected to rule on the matter later today.
But time is running out, as Orange County Supervisor of Election Bill Cowles, must have the measure in hand by tomorrow, Tuesday, September 18, to get it printed up and on the ballot.
It is left to be seen how this would actually play out and whether the will of the people of Orange County will be thwarted once again.
A bitter fight has ensued between the Citizens for a Greater Orange County Coalition and supporters of the Earned Sick Time initiative on the one hand and county commissioners and big business on the other.
Despite gathering the requisite number of signatures – 50,000 citizens signed the petition to place the measure on the November ballot, the County commission moved to silence the will of voters by delaying the measure. In fact, Commissioner Jennifer Thompson brought before the commission a Chamber-sponsored proposal aimed at killing the citizen initiative. Last week, the commission chose to delay voting on both measures until October, a brazen attempt to keep the two measures off the November ballot. The commission said too, more time was needed to review the wording of the Earned Sick Time initiate, as the language was misleading.
Now its up to the three-judge to determine whether or not the measure will get on the November 2012 ballot. If not, local workers could kiss this measure goodbye until 2014.