Backers are gathering signatures for an initiative that would create a publicly owned utility to provide electric service in California instead of privately owned utilities such as Southern California Edison.
Valid signatures from 365,880 registered voters–or 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the November general election–must be submitted by Sept. 10 to qualify the measure for the November 2016 ballot.
Initiative proponent Ben Davis unsuccessfully sought to qualify a similar measure for the 2013 ballot in 2013, but the lower turnout in last November's election should make it easier to qualify.
He claims the California Electrical Utility District Act would lower the cost of electricity to all consumers in the state, encourage new business development, create jobs, enlarge the tax base and improve the economy, according to a City News Service report.
An 11-member elected board of directors would operate the utility, and publicly owned utilities such as Anaheim Public Utilities and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power would have the option of joining the statewide utility or remaining independent.