The Courage Campaign — a California progressive Democratic group with a strong on-line presence — is helping to circulate a short-and-sweet petition asking that the budget, and taxes, be approved by a simple majority vote. Here’s the website for the on-line petition
It’ll be interesting to see whether this initiative goes anywhere. It obviously runs directly counter to the right wing’s continued drumbeat for making it as hard as possible to fund the state (and local) government. Thus far, Californians have appeared to like that beat, voting for Prop. 13, Prop. 218, and other ballot measures that have tried to curtail government revenue raising and expenditures. (On the other hand, Californians have also passed numerous measures that either raised taxes for specific purposes or mandated specific government spending.)
The question is whether the past few years of repeated legislative stalemate over the budget have soured Californians (or at least a majority of them) on continuing to insist on supermajorities to approve government monetary decisions.
A recent Field poll (see my recent post, “California – State of Unreality”) said Californians still wanted to keep the 2/3 vote rule. Still, in polling, it’s all-important how you ask the question. I think things will have to get considerably worse to convince Californians to make it easier for government to access the purse. Given the way things are going, however, that could happen pretty fast!