Prop. 25 a sneak attack

By October 8, 2010

Proposition 25 is mislabeled as the “On-Time Budget Act of 2010.” There is no guarantee it would make the budget any more on time than this year’s 99-day fiasco. Proposition 25 is just another Democratic majority sneak attack on the two-thirds vote requirement for the Legislature to pass a budget.
Without this two-thirds majority requirement the majority would run amuck and raise our taxes by billions and billions and not make a single program reduction.
By the same token, it was not long ago that the Republicans were in the majority. The two-thirds vote requirement on passing a budget in that situation would give the Democrats leverage to save key social programs. The leverage given the minority by the two-thirds budget vote requirement is the only factor that forces compromise. Without it there would be no compromise. Our state Legislature would be like the current Congress that has steamrolled its spendthrift agenda through while ignoring the minority Republicans. In California the majority can’t ignore the minority when it comes to taxes and spending. Thank goodness for that.
Proposition 25 would “permanently forfeit reimbursement for salary and expenses (of the legislators) for every day until the Legislature passes a budget.” Big whoop-ti-do. The majority has independent income and will weather this as a minor inconvenience.
The initiative, put on the ballot by the Legislature, claims to maintain the two-thirds vote on raising taxes, but it is a questionable claim. Opponents such as the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association have analyzed the measure and concluded that taxes could be raised as part of the budget and that it “eliminates voter rights to use the referendum process to reject hidden taxes and repeal bad laws at the ballot.”
The key driver of this is the proposed proposition’s wording, “The Legislature may control submission, approval and enforcement of budgets and filing of claims for all state agencies.” Obviously, legal analysis of this subsection has identified some more complex issues hidden behind this simple phrase.
Don’t change the only thing that has kept this state from financially running off a cliff. The Mountain Democrat urges a no vote on Proposition 25.

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