Walmart is increasingly using California's initiative system and budget woes to expand in the state, according to a new report from California Watch, a project of the Center for Investigative Reporting. In cities across the state, Walmart has circulated petitions to build new stores or eliminate local restrictions on big-box retailers. With enough signatures, state law requires cities to approve the petitions or hold a special election. With cash-strapped cities opting out of costly elections, Walmart's strategy has pushed through four new superstores in the past year and rolled back regulations in San Diego. Will Evans wrote the story for California Watch.