Don Wagner: Budget Fact Check – Has Proposition 25 Produced Balanced Budgets for California?
Posted by Newsletter Reprint on June 23, 2012
This came over the wire from Assemblyman Don Wagner’s office on Thursday…
Has Proposition 25 Produced Balanced Budgets for California?
Proposition 25 was passed by voters in November 2010 to change the vote requirement to pass a state budget from two-thirds of the Legislature to a simple majority vote.
Last week, the majority party enacted a budget bill and 6 budget-related measures on June 15, the constitutional deadline for the Legislature to pass a budget. However, over 20 so-called trailer bills that must be enacted to complete the budget have not yet been acted upon. According to news media accounts, the Assembly Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tem have been negotiating differences with the Governor behind closed doors.
In their arguments in the official statewide voter pamphlet, proponents of Proposition 25 argued that “real people suffer when legislators play games with the budget.”
Nearly two years since its passage, it begs the question – has Proposition 25 produced balanced budgets for California? Have legislators stopped playing games with the budget?
The California Budget Fact Check found that:
- Public accountability has suffered in the majority vote budget process, with key decisions made behind closed doors outside the lens of taxpayers and the news media.
- Even though budgets no longer require bipartisan votes for passage, the same types of gimmicks and tricks are still being used to avoid tough budget choices.
- Though conventional wisdom held that there would be no problem passing an on-time, majority vote budget, the Legislature passed only part of this year’s spending plan by the June 15 deadline, leaving more than 2/3rds of the budget bills available to be drafted or rewritten based on additional negotiations.
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