On this morningâ€™s radio talk shows, following the early morning passage of Californiaâ€™s budget, Democratic legislators have finally taken up the political fight against the Republicans and are urging revision of the stateâ€™s dysfunctional budget process.
In addition, Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced today that signatures may begin to be collected for petitions calling for two measures designed to lower the legislative vote requirement necessary to pass the state budget and spending bills related to the budget from sixty-seven percent (two-thirds) to fifty-five percent.
The proposed measures would retain the two-thirds vote requirement for property tax increases.
In order to be placed on the ballot, the measures need the petition signatures of 694,354 registered voters â€“ the number equal to 8 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2006 gubernatorial election. These petition signatures must be must be collected within 150 days (by July 20).
There is also a Facebook group dedicated to the passage of these measures called â€œStop the Insanity: Majority Rule for California!â€
The group is dedicated to â€œending the rule that forces the California Legislature to have a 2/3rds vote to pass a budget. This rule has allowed a minority partyâ€“in this case, the Republicansâ€“to hijack the process and hold the state hostage until they get their way.â€
The groupâ€™s website points out that â€œCalifornia is one of only 3 states that requires a supermajority to pass a budget, and the consequences have been severe. Itâ€™s time for a return to the democratic principles of majority rule for budgets in California.â€
I urge you to join this group and invite your friends to join.
As blogger Dave Dayen noted this morning in a scathing article on the budget agreement, â€œthis is a budget the GOP can be proud of, because itâ€™s a profoundly conservative budget. Because they hold a conservative veto over it. And they get the best of both worlds – they donâ€™t have to vote for the budget en masse so they donâ€™t have to own it. In short, the hijacking worked.â€
This is the most important issue facing California â€“ and itâ€™s time for a change.