Budgets reflect the priorities and values of a state. Public dollars dedicated to schools, safe communities, healthy kids demonstrate that a state is committed to creating a high quality of life for residents. California’s budget tells a whole different story. Because California has a two-thirds vote requirement to pass a budget, a small group of partisan legislators can withhold their votes to extract concessions from the majority. As a result, California’s budget process ends up full of corporate loopholes, special favors for the few.
California is only one of three states, including Rhode Island and Arkansas, that requires a two-thirds majority to pass a budget. The result has been gridlock, late budgets and backroom deals.
In the 2008 and 2009 budget negotiations, a deal was cut to get the required two-thirds vote that blew a massive hole in the state’s budget. The deal will significantly reduce the taxes that a small number of corporations pay, costing the state an estimated $2 billion a year. Once again, the budget “solution’ created an even bigger hole in the already tattered budget—all to get the votes needed to pass a budget.
The 2/3 rule means that a minority of legislators- as few as 8 Senators, can hold up the budget to demand what they want- such as more tax breaks for the corporations and more cuts to education.
Vote Yes. On Prop. 25. End the minority rule of the legislature. With majority rule the voters decide how to write the budget. You and I decide what the state’s financial needs are and how best to respond.
By voting Yes on 25 you can end significant government gridlock . We can bring some economic sanity to our state.
Or, we can continue with our current dysfunctional system.