The Desert Sun
February 11, 2004
When Proposition 56 advocates made a whistle stop in the Coachella Valley on Tuesday, the chosen site was a nursing home to help hammer home their message.
Nursing homes, schools, fire and police departments, senior citizens associations -- these are the types of entities acutely affected when the state of California experiences its annual summer gridlock over passage of a new budget.
"Prop. 56 is about budget accountability and bringing clarity and fairness to the process," Proposition 56 campaign official Eric Wooten told the small gathering assembled at the Country Villa Rancho Mirage Healthcare Center.
"We shouldn’t have this budget morass every year. And it’s been written and said that this is a political problem, not an economic problem. But when a budget is late being approved, funds that are supposed to go to places like this nursing home aren’t going to arrive." Click here to read more.
Los Angeles Times
February 8, 2004
The state's lawmakers got us into a hideous fiscal mess, so why should voters make it easier for them to pass a budget? The answer lies in accountability and clarity in the budget process. Both would be encouraged and deadlock would be diminished by Proposition 56, allowing a state budget to pass on a legislative vote of 55% instead of the current two-thirds. Click here to read more.
• HOLD LEGISLATORS ACCOUNTABLE
Legislators won’t get paid their salary, per diem expense and car allowance for each day the budget isn’t passed – if they don’t do their job, they won’t be paid. The Legislature has almost six months to adopt a budget, but hasn’t met that deadline since 1986!
• FORCE LEGISLATIVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE BUDGET
Requires the Legislature to stay in session – until they pass the budget. Passing a responsible budget on time is the Legislature’s most important job. Prop 56 sets that priority once and for all.
• REFORM THE BUDGET PROCESS AND ENDS GRIDLOCK
Changes the vote required to adopt the state budget and related tax legislation from 2/3 to 55%. Currently, Rhode Island and Arkansas are the only other states to routinely require a vote of 2/3 or more to pass a budget and the federal budget is passed by just a simple majority.
The 55% required by Prop 56 will require consensus and will help break the gridlock we face today.
• GIVE VOTERS THE FACTS THEY NEED ON THE BUDGET
Gives voters better access to their legislators’ votes on the budget and taxes.
Prop 56 requires the official ballot handbook to disclose how tax dollars are spent and if taxes are raised along with a website where voters can find out how their legislators voted on the budget and tax bills.
• REQUIRE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
To curb deficit spending, Prop 56 requires the Legislature to set aside a mandatory reserve fund of at least 5%, so that extreme budget cuts and tax increases will be less likely in a weak economy.
• MAINTAIN ALL OF PROP 13’S PROPERTY TAX PROTECTION
• We collected one million signatures in less than 60 days.
• One out of every five signatures was collected by volunteers.
• We believe the speed with which we were able to gather signatures for the Budget Accountability Act demonstrates that California voters are hungry for real budget reform now.