View Full Version : Democrats vow to change two-thirds requirement

08-19-2008, 10:12 AM
If the socialist demo's manage to pass this then I will seriously consider moving out of this state :mad:

By Steven Harmon
Contra Costa Times Sacramento Bureau
Article Last Updated: 08/19/2008 06:08:47 AM PDT

SACRAMENTO Assemblyman Sandre Swanson is convinced that the only way to avoid lengthy budget stalemates in the future is to strip the minority party of what he calls its out-sized influence.

The Oakland Democrat is among a handful of East Bay lawmakers who want voters to overturn the constitutional requirement that two-thirds of the Legislature must approve the budget. Now in its 50th day, the budget standoff is threatening to spill into next month as both parties remain far apart on finding a solution to the state's estimated $15.2 billion deficit.

"It just has to change, and citizens will have to lead us on this," said Swanson, a member of the Assembly Budget committee. "California is being held hostage by six members of this Assembly. That's the tyranny of the minority. Six members have disproportionate influence."

Swanson and fellow Assembly members Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, and Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, say they are committed to rounding up grass-roots support to put the issue on the 2010 ballot. They expect it to be just as relevant in two years as it is now because program costs are likely to continue to outstrip revenues.

"The time has really come to take a new look at this 70-year-old constitutional amendment," Hancock said. "The public doesn't understand that there's a reason the Democratic majority can't put a budget on the governor's desk. That's the two-thirds vote."

Since its inception in the 1930s, complaints about the two-thirds vote requirement on the budget have swirled around the Capitol, but no one has mustered enough political capital to change it.

Legislative attempts at reform are typically dead on arrival because constitutional amendments themselves need a two-thirds vote. Sen. Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch, introduced a measure to eliminate the two-thirds votes on the budget and taxes earlier this year, but has failed to get it out of committee.

A similar measure, Proposition 56, failed by a 2-1 margin at the ballot in 2004, when voters rejected a constitutional amendment to eliminate the two-thirds vote requirements for budgets and taxes. Swanson said taxes won't be touched in any future ballot measure.

Rhode Island and Arkansas are the only other states to require a two-thirds vote from their legislators on the budget. California is also one of only five states with a two-thirds vote requirement on raising taxes.

"I certainly hope someone would do something about the two-thirds vote," said Barbara O'Connor, director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and the Media at Sacramento State. "It would go a long way to restoring the public's trust by having some solution to the budgetary crises each year."

Conservatives say Democrats can have a simple majority vote on budgets; it's the two-thirds vote on taxes they'll defend to the end, they say.

"The two-thirds vote on the budget is almost irrelevant it's almost a moot point," said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. "The issue is tax revenues, not expenditure plans."

08-19-2008, 10:17 AM
not gonna happen.

08-19-2008, 10:25 AM
I cant believe people actually vote for these kind of people!

It just blows my mind that they want to throw their rights away!

08-19-2008, 12:35 PM
These utter douchebags can stand up and actually say this, with a straight face, to their constituency and not fear backlash that will sweep them from office next time around.
Our state is broken.

08-19-2008, 12:47 PM
"It just has to change, and citizens will have to lead us on this,"

A similar measure, Proposition 56, failed by a 2-1 margin at the ballot in 2004, when voters rejected a constitutional amendment to eliminate the two-thirds vote requirements for budgets and taxes.

The citizens did lead them on this. It appears that they haven't received the memo yet.

08-19-2008, 12:52 PM
god these are the types of democrats i despise the most. they are the slime that goes out with the tide. i'm glad 6 members are holding it up. keep doing guys the dems are getting angry.

i hope the people finally wake up and vote out these frickin loser lawmakers.

wait a minute this is Kalifornia these idiots will still have jobs after the november elections.

08-19-2008, 1:05 PM
The budget is full of alot of government waste.

If they actually qualify such a proposition, all spenidng bills are fair game.

This is something we could actually use to grow our base, let me explain.

Voters are registered by precints, and those lists are available at each county board of registrar.

Ideally I would love to see 2 to 3 freedom walkers per precint, what they would do is go to the voters, introduce themselves as concerned citizens and then give a list of bills that their assemblyman and senator voted for.

Of course the list would include things that the person would probably oppose. Different lists could be created for different people, one for Dems, One for Reps, etc.

The issue is we come of as good government people first, we don't attack responsible government spending, we attack waste.

We of course would kill such a bill, we also would gain alliances with tax payer groups, tax payer groups generally have access to business, business generally controls money that is spent in media advertising, media advertising tells program directors to knock off things that piss off readers etc.

I say let them get their bill qualified, it could be the best thing that ever happened to us.

Prop 15 is the reason the legislature gave us pre emption, and if we had the resources today then, we could have cleaned up alot of problems back in 1981.


08-19-2008, 1:56 PM
nicki i'm sure the howard jarvis foundation is up their butts on this one. as they know more than anyone that this is not a good thing for this state. our state is so screwed up. and i'm sure you are aware that almost all legislators are imune to be voted out thanks to gerrymandering the districts.i think the ballot intiative for distric repair is a top priority. fixing them is very important here.

these guys know as another member said there is no fear of voter backlash thanks to gerrymandered districts.