Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No, No, No, No, No!

The voters of California have, by close to 2/3, voted down all five budget referenda put on the May 19 special election. I think I voted for two of the five, but I was happy to see all five fail. We are all sick to death of this broken budget process. The Economist this week came out in favor of a new constitutional convention in California. The voters are basically saying one thing: let it burn. The voters don't know what the solution is, but we know this all sucks. And the voters aren't playing ball anymore. I think we may finally see some action on a constitutional convention or prop 13. Something big has to give. We in California have the world's sixth largest economy and enormous wealth. We can make government work. One way or another. Sometimes a little revolution, now and again, is a good thing.


Anonymous said...

Here here...the people of no...for a reason! Revolution indeed.

Dr. Strangelove said...

I voted reluctantly for 1A and 1B, on the theory that we had to surrender somewhat to the reality of the budget crisis, but as LTG says, it was a reluctant vote at best.

I'm ready for a new constitutional convention for California as well. Sometimes you just have to toss out all the bathwater and pray you can catch the baby.

Raised By Republicans said...

Could you guys explain - briefly - the differences between these five initiatives for all us non-residents.

California absolutely needs a new constitution. Here are the biggest changes they need to make:

1) Remove the 2/3 majority requirement for budget bills.

2) Make it much much more difficult to amend the constitution and impossible to amend it by referendum alone.

3) Remove the clause that singles out homosexuals for legal discrimination.

Dr. Strangelove said...

I'm with RbR on all 3 points. The first two are the big ones. The third, while dear to me--and something I certainly hope would be fixed!--is not a part of the "ungovernability" crisis, just a relic of the bad initiative process. And there are other such relics, although none so egregious.

I would add that something about property tax probably needs to be there (the Prop. 13 issue) but I'm not really sure how to address that.

Here's my understanding of the propositions.

1A. Maintain higher taxes for a couple of years. Increase requirement for budgetary reserve.

1B. Fiddle with the school budget guarantees (Prop. 98) to give the government more flexibility in the short run to fill the current budget hole, then "guarantee" more to schools later.

1C. Fiddle with the state lottery. Make it bigger and borrow against its future earnings to fill the current budget hole.

1D. Fiddle with funding for children's services. Use money allocated for that purpose to fill the current budget hole. [This would re-allocate money allocated by an earlier initiative.]

1E. Fiddle with funding for mental health services. Use money allocated for that purpose to fill the current budget hole. [This would re-allocate money allocated by an earlier initiative.]

1F. Prevent state legislators from getting a pay raise if the government runs a deficit.

USwest said...

There is not point in explaining them, RBR. Basically, it was a series of initiatives where you snip here to cut there. The only one that made sense was the last one that freezes salary hikes for state legislators. That, BTW, came from Abe Maldanado from Salinas, a REPUBLICAN. He stalled the entire budget negotiation process by insisting on this initiative and an change to districting rules before agreeing to vote with the Democrats. Good for him. At the time I was pissed at him, now, I'm glad.

I voted no on all but the one that passed. I agree with RBR on all counts, which is why I voted as I did. Of course, news reports indicate that the voter response is being misinterpreted. They think we don't want more taxes. No, that isn't it. We want a whole new state government, constitution and all.

My take on all these initiatives was that it was an election by the California teachers unions for the California teachers unions. The ballot was complex. You had to vote yes on both A and B for either of them to work. Both were about protecting education funds in a down economy. One was about temporarily redirecting state lottery funds from education funding to the general fund. Another sought to beef up a state emergency fund.

This state gives something like 60%of its budget to education and gets crap back. So I am pretty tired of protecting education funds when I don't see improvement. This state experiments and experiments and accomplishes nothing in education.

USwest said...

PS: this explains it well enough