Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Proposition 31 worth trying

From page A4 | October 08, 2012 | 2 Comments

One of the more intricate and complex measures on the Nov. 6 ballot is Proposition 31. It affects local government, the Legislature and the governor.

First the governor: It would give the governor the power to declare a fiscal emergency and make his or her own budget cuts to balance the budget. But that would only happen after the Legislature is called into session for 45 days to deal with the fiscal emergency but fails to do so. Bear in mind the voters already gave the Legislature authority to pass a budget with only a simple majority, but it still can’t raise taxes without a two-thirds vote. Another recent ballot proposition added fee hikes to the two-thirds majority. Proposition 31 would allow the Legislature to overrule the governor’s budget cuts with a two-thirds majority.

It gets still more complicated. Here is what the Legislative Analyst said about the governor’s budget cutting powers under this proposed measure: “The governor could not reduce spending that is required by the Constitution or federal law — such as most school spending, debt service, pension contributions, and some spending for health and social services programs. (These categories currently account for a majority of General Fund spending.) The total amount of the reductions could not exceed the amount necessary to balance the budget.”

Less complex is the provision of this measure that would put the Legislature on a two-year budget cycle, with the second year devoted to review and oversight of state programs.

It also requires all bills to be available for three days after being proposed and amended before they can be voted upon.

Another restriction on the legislative budgeting process is that any bill increasing or decreasing costs by $25 million would have to show how that expense would be covered by revenue increases or reductions or a combination of both.

Local government gets a small bit of complex freedom out of this proposition. It gets to  write its own rules for implementing state programs, if it comes up with a plan “for coordinating how they provide services to the public.” To fund the plans the state would chip in $200 million in sales tax revenue that would be divided up on a population basis.

Notice there are two parts to the preceding. Part 1 is customizing implementation of state programs. Part 2 is a plan to provide service to the public “including economic development, education, social services, public safety and public health.” Part 2 says, “Each plan would have to be approved by the governing boards of the (1) county, (2) school districts serving a majority of the county’s students, and (3) other local governments representing a majority of the county’s population.”

That part 2 may not be worth the effort in El Dorado County, which has 13 school districts, three community college districts, a county Board of Education and a county superintendent of schools, 10 fire districts, two major utility districts and a smaller one in Georgetown, two major community services districts and a myriad of smaller ones, not to mention two cities with their own police departments.

A final complicating factor is part of Proposition 31 is a constitutional amendment and part is simple statute.

Three factors lead us to believe the Proposition 31 is worth a try:

1. It prevents midnight gut-and-amend sneak attacks by the legislators.

2. It gives the governor some more budget cutting powers.

3. It allows for some local creativity in administering state programs.

Mountain Democrat


Discussion | 2 comments

  • CatherineOctober 08, 2012 - 11:34 am

    The MD praises a ballot initiative funded and driven by a Democrat... from France...? Wonders never cease.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • erni bolducOctober 16, 2012 - 4:06 pm

    This proposition puts Agenda 21 in motion, certainly don't vote yes on this!!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment


Greenwood School being restored

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Cal Fire increasing staffing, hiring

By Cal Fire | From Page: B1

EID restricts watering days

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A1, 9 Comments

Lover’s Leap fall injures man

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A1

EDH Fire Dept. annexing Latrobe

By Noel Stack | From Page: A1, 5 Comments

Motorcycle fatality in Greenwood

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

Tea Party meeting April 17

By Tea Party Patriots Of El Dorado Hills | From Page: A3, 16 Comments

Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking May 1

By El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition | From Page: A6

Floating body not a body

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A7

Old mill a goner

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A11, 4 Comments | Gallery



My turn: A fair California flat income tax

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

DA Pierson has been outstanding

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 8 Comments



A great big thanks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Murder? Suicide?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

‘Drive Clean’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Middle class getting poorer?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 10 Comments

Real estate lies

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment



Outside with Charlie: Switch gear

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A8

Ponderosa volleyball is a family affair

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Aussie team makes visit

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A8

Griz have challenging day

By Mike Bush | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Roundup: April 15, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery



Runners stampede for Sugarloaf scholarships

By El Dorado County Office of Education | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Take aim on fun

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

Men to walk a mile in her shoes

By Center For Violence-Free Relationships | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Team works to fight disease

By Placerville Kiwanis | From Page: B3

COOL School is accepting applications

By Rescue Union | From Page: B4

Band of Miwoks fund mission

By Shingle Springs Band Of Miwok Indians | From Page: B12



Crime Log: March 25-27

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Weather stats 4-15-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2



Numa Edward “Ed” Roberts

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Ronald Russell Rohrer

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate




By Contributor | From Page: A10

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A10


By Contributor | From Page: A10


By Contributor | From Page: A10

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A10


By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Thursday, April 17, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A10