Sunday, August 03, 2008

Time To End 2/3 Majority Requirement?

So asks Dan Walters in today's issue of the Sacramento Bee. He thinks it's time to get rid of the 2/3 majority vote required to pass the state budget. Some of the comments made on his column also blame term limits for the perpetual budget messes and fiscal irresponsibility that plague this state.

I had to point out in my own comments to the story that the last time the budget was passed on time was the 2000-2001 budget which was passed on June 30, 2000. That's the budget where the legislature- giddy from overflowing state coffers- spent every penny of that revenue and then some. They didn't spend it on one time projects, either. That was when the state's current deficit problems really started.

As far as term limits are concerned, while I'm ambivalent about term limits myself, I don't know that term limits can be blamed for overdue budgets or our deficit. Term limits hadn't kicked in when the 2000-2001 budget was signed. Both State Senator Wes Chesbro and Assemblygal Virginia Strom- Martin were still in office at that time and signed the budget. Chesbro didn't leave office until 2006 and Strom- Martin in 2002.

I actually agree that maybe we should get rid of the 2/3 majority requirement to pass the budget if for no other reason than to get it passed and, whatever bad happens, it would be easier to point the finger at whose fault it is.

And put an end to term limits if you want. There are valid arguments for doing so, but don't expect any better decisions to be made in our state capitol as a result.


At 6:46 AM, Blogger Carol said...

It takes time to learn the ropes and become an effective member of the state assembly and senate. Once a member starts becoming effective, then their term is up.

At 7:30 AM, Blogger Fred said...

There is certainly something to be said for institutional memory.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Carol said...


At 10:07 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Don't get too smug, Carol. While institutional memory has its benefits, it certainly didn't seem to help make any better budget decisions in 2000. Those were all experienced legislators, for the most part.

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Carol said...

Smug? There is something to be said about experience and seniority, especially where we live in a low population area. We need a strong voice to be able to represent us in Sacramento.

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Fred said...

But not one that will make poor decisions, Carol.


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