Making Sense of Prop 31
October 15, 2012 5:15 PM Subscribe
Help me understand California prop 31 on state budget reform
posted by ilikemefi to law & government (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I feel way out of my depth voting on prop 31.
What do you think would be the long term effects/unintended consequences of the various clauses?
Establishes two-year state budget cycle.
Prohibits Legislature from creating expenditures of more than $25 million unless offsetting revenues or spending cuts are identified.
Permits Governor to cut budget unilaterally during declared fiscal emergencies if Legislature fails to act.
Requires performance reviews of all state programs.
Requires performance goals in state and local budgets.
Requires publication of bills at least three days prior to legislative vote.
Allows local governments to alter how laws governing state-funded programs apply to them, unless Legislature or state agency vetoes change within 60 days.
The last one is definitely the most confusing. Everything else seems sensible on the surface, but I admit no deep knowledge of how this will actually affect the state.
What is the practical effect of a two-year budget cycle? Better budget predictability and more likely to be balanced, at the cost of having a longer planning window?
What are the consequences of requiring expenditures to be offset by other spending cuts or revenues?
Is there anything wrong with requiring performance reviews? I would have assumed that we did this already for all major government projects.
Does this give the governor too much power?
Is this a political power grab in some way that I don't understand? The background on Nicolas Berggruen that I've done so far suggests that he's backing this proposition to honestly help the state achieve reform.
A lot of these items seem like good common sense to me (except the last one, which I really really don't understand).
According to the opposition, it prevents the state from cutting taxes if the state has a surplus, from using surplus money on new programs over $25M, and the last term threatens public health/water quality. Is any of this true? Is this a spending cap in practice?