The California Judges Association is proposing a state constitutional amendment that would significantly change jury service in CA for misdemeanor cases. These proposals include:
(1) reducing juries from 12 to 8 for misdemeanor cases punishable by up to one year in jail
(2) reducing the total number of peremptory challenges in these cases
The primary reasons for these changes is to cut costs in the judiciary. However, I think they have other benefits to include expediting misdemeanor cases. I also believe that with smaller juries attorneys may be more inclined to request jury trials.
A critique of the proposals can be found here.
Support for the proposals can be found here.