Judge Calls LA’s Measure J Unconstitutional

An LA County Superior Court judge has shot down a voter-approved initiative requiring the county to set aside 10% of unrestricted funds to combat systemic racism.

The Coalition of County Unions, which includes the Assn. of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, filed a legal challenge after voters passed Measure J last year. The Coalition said the measure curtailed the Board of Supervisors’ budgeting powers and that voters lacked authority to approve such an initiative.

In the tentative ruling Thursday, Judge Mary Strobel agreed. Lawyers for both sides have 15 days to submit additional information, but a final ruling against Measure J’s constitutionality is expected.

The county has disagreed all along that Measure J prevents the Board from directing the budget or complying with budget requirements. County Supervisors placed the measure on the ballot after a 4-1 vote. Attorneys for the county have indicated they will appeal the ruling.