Home > Uncategorized > California’s Goofy, Quirky Jerky Props

California’s Goofy, Quirky Jerky Props

California, which shows no shame in offering quirky ballot measures to voters, has a beauty on the Nov. 2 ballot:

No pay and no retroactive reimbursement to Assembly and Senate members who do not submit a budget to the governor by June 15.

At first blush, that draws the reaction from many who would say it serves the bums right. After all, California legislators pay themselves the highest salary of any state legislature in these 50  United States — $113,098 per year, $162 per day based on a 2007 national survey.

State Proposition 25 goes beyond that. It lowers the state constitutional requirement of passing budgets from a two-thirds majority to a bare 50% plus one margin.

Vetoes and tax increases still would require a two-thirds to override the governor and pick the pockets of taxpayers for more money.

Under current law, legislators are not paid if they miss the filing deadline but can be reimbursed retroactively once they do the job they are paid to do.

Under Prop 25, there would be no reimbursement. Period. The legislative analyst said the dunning for missing a deadline would be $50,000 per day for the entire bunch.

It seems to me that since both houses are controlled by one party — in this case the Democrats for the past decade — meeting the deadline is a slam dunk. Overriding a Republican governor veto is a different story but what the hell do Democratic legislators care? They still get paid.

Which means the only time Prop 25 would be relevant, is when the Assembly and Senate are controlled by opposite political parties where some horse trading would be needed.

According to the legislative analyst, the Legislature has failed to meet its June 15 deadline five times since 1980, including three times since 2000. Five years out of 29 or three out of nine can mean discomfort for those who rely on the budget in place on time — schools and state employees and state projects.

But submitting a budget on time is worthless if it is vetoed since it would still require those two-thirds votes to override.

What Prop. 25 does, in effect, is shift the fiscal responsibility to the governor’s office and make him/her the bad guy/girl.

It is why we residents look to Sacramento, shake out heads, and mutter they just don’t get it.

All Prop. 25 had to do is say no pay until the budget is signed. That might get my vote because the two-thirds threshold now in effect gives too much frigging power to the minority party in which one or two senators who represent asparagus farmers become dictators to 33 million residents.

Not to worry. If Prop 25 fails, the losers can soothe their wounds by puffing on a marijuana joint should Prop 19 pass.

Voters can also have some fun. Like passing Prop 20 which would kill a state vote in June that established a citizens panel to redistrict federal congressional districts and return that process back to the $113,000/yr legislators.

Owners of motor homes and recreational vehicles can pay an extra $18 annual license fee for free admission and parking to state parks under Prop 21.

And for climate change deniers, Prop 23 is up your ally. It suspends emission standards until state unemployment drops to 5.5%. (It’s now 13%.)

Passage of Prop 24 allows voters to strike back at those greedy businesses by repealing their state tax liability exemptions.

And, my Tea Party favorite, Prop 26, which would call some state fees taxes and require a two-thirds vote to increase them in the future.

Just to remind folks, all this crap is written into the state constitution which explains why it is the third longest in the world.  And you wonder why California is dysfunctional…

The California Legislature is the best money can buy countered by the best propositions special interests can afford.

Categories: Uncategorized
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