Much of the news coming out of Sacramento concerns the Legislature's passage of a budget by the constitutional deadline -- June 15 -- last week. In the past the Legislature has blown right past that constitutional deadline. What is different?
Back in 2010 California voters approved Proposition 25, which lowered
the requirement for lawmakers to pass a budget from two-thirds of
members of the State Senate and State Assembly to a simple majority of
both legislative houses. Proposition 25 also sweetened the deal for
voters by providing that legislators would lose their pay if they
"didn't do their jobs" and failed to pass a budget by June 15.
The consequence of Prop 25 is that Democrats can pass a budget
without needing even one Republican vote. But what does this budget look
Well, only a simple majority is needed to
impose spending cuts, but in order to impose revenue increases, either
by increasing fees or taxes, two-thirds of both legislative houses must
agree. That means Republicans must get on board in order to either raise
revenue, or put a measure on the ballot asking voters whether they will
agree to raise revenue. In what may be the understatement of the
decade, it is safe to say that members of the GOP are averse to raising
either fees or taxes.
Last year Governor Jerry Brown involved Republicans in budget talks
because he wanted them to agree to put his tax proposals on the ballot.
These efforts were unsuccessful, and Brown instead used the initiative
process to gather enough signatures to put his proposals on the November
2012 ballot. This year Republicans seemed to play a much smaller role
in the budget process.
Finish reading this post on KCET.org.