Reform is Not Dead…Well, Not Yet
Today, Senate and Assembly Democrats announced that they would pursue the governance reform proposals developed by California Forward, a list of nearly two dozen reforms that are currently included in two ballot measures slated for the November 2010 ballot. Recently, California Forward had indicated that they would not pursue signature-gathering to place those measures on the ballot independently, but would rely on the Legislature to put them before the voters.
Contra Costa Times reporter Lisa Vorderbrueggen has posted a video of the press conference along with a summary of the various reform proposals.
The Senate and Assembly will be convening hearings to discuss the proposals with the intention of moving measures to their respective floors for a vote. Whether the reforms get to the ballot, however, will be a question for legislative Republicans, who vehemently oppose changing the vote threshold for approval of a state budget from 2/3 to majority.
Remember that the California Forward package also includes local revenue protections, as well as a new local authority to levy a one-cent sales tax increase by majority voter approval if the county, its cities, and schools can agree on a “countywide strategic action plan.” The reform plan released today outlines a plan to convene a bipartisan, bicameral committee on state-local fiscal and program realignment, to boot.