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CA 'Terrible Initiative' Withdrawn

California assistant attorney general Alberto Gonzales has told activists there that the 'Opportunity to Repair' Act has been withdrawn and will not appear as a ballot initiative in November.

At this time, it's unclear as to who was instrumental getting the measure, termed the "terrible initiative" by activists, to be removed from consideration. Gonzales has confirmed via email that "SA 2005 RF 0148 or 'Opportunity to Repair Act 2006'" was one of the initiatives for which "the attorney general's office received a request for withdrawal." Sources say CA state Senator Joseph Dunn (D. - Garden Grove) may have been instrumental in getting the ballot initiative withdrawn, although this has not been confirmed.

The initiative would have removed the teeth from California access laws, allowing businesses to wait until sued to provide access -- and removing the payment of attorney fees or damages in access cases. Activists have mounted a vigorous effort against the initiative, which was to have been circulated for the required number of citizen signatures in February. Several weeks ago, the National Council on Disability sent a letter to California's attorney general warning that the initiative was "undermining the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act."

One access activist is now suggesting a state-wide "televised summit to provide those of us with disabilities living in California an opportunity to discuss" with the business community "the lack of access in the built environment throughout the state."