FREMONT — It may not be the ballot measure to end all ballot measures, but a new reform drive could put an end to chronic budget crises in Sacramento, supporters say.

A coalition of public policy groups and local officials are rallying behind twin ballot initiatives planned for November 2010 to convene a state constitutional convention.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors is set to endorse the ballot measures next week, and on Tuesday supervisors Scott Haggerty and Nate Miley held a town-hall meeting in Fremont to promote the plan and pillory the state.

"If this was a business, it is broken," Haggerty said of mounting state deficits. "We cannot continue to rip off our children."

"This state is the laughingstock of the country, the world — it really is," Miley said.

Joining the supervisors Tuesday were a panel of local leaders including East Bay Regional Park District board member Ayn Wieskamp and Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi, who said that recent state take-aways were crippling local government.

The Bay Area Council, a public policy advocacy group funded by leading businesses, is planning to put the twin measures on the ballot next year — one to empower voters to call for the convention, and the other to call for it and set convention ground rules.

The convention would convene in 2011, meet for several months, and prepare a new constitution that would go before state voters in 2012, said the Bay Area Council's John Grubb.

Delegates, who could be chosen through several different methods, would consider reforms such as eliminating the two-thirds legislative majority needed to pass a budget, reducing the use of ballot initiatives, eliminating state boards with overlapping jurisdictions, and giving local governments more control over their revenue.

Social issues such as same-sex marriage would be off the table, Grubb said.

The proposal is not the only reform measure being planned for next year's ballot.

California Forward, a bipartisan good-government group that co-sponsored last year's successful initiative to strip the Legislature of its power to draw legislative districts, is working on a measure to reform the budget process.

It would eliminate the two-thirds requirement for passing a budget as well require the state to keep a rainy day reserve fund, said Fred Keeley, a former state Assembly member, who participated in Tuesday's meeting.

A similar gathering last month in Oakland drew more than 100 people, but the Fremont meeting drew just 25, several of whom are current or former politicians.

"We need people up there with the heart to do the right thing," said Lillien Litzsey, a Castro Valley woman who wore earrings proclaiming her support for President Barack Obama.

Preston Plaugher, a Fremont resident who opposes property taxes, said he would support a convention even though he feared special interests might hijack it.

"You can build a ship but you can't keep the rats off," he said. "There's weasels everywhere."

Reach Matthew Artz at 510-353-7002. Read his blog at www.ibabuzz.com/tricitybeat.