Wednesday, March 18, 2009

California Demise

California is notorious for (a) the ease of passing changes to state law through ballot initiatives and (b) the 2/3 supermajority requirement to pass a budget. I was wondering whether it was possible to use (a) to get rid of (b). After the chaos surrounding the recently passed budget, voters would be receptive to a ballot initiative to eliminate the supermajority requirement and make it possible to pass budgets with a simple majority like reasonable states do, right?

Right! Or so it looks:
The PPIC Statewide Survey taken in mid-January finds for the first time that a majority – 54 percent of Californians – believe that it is a "good idea" to change the two-thirds majority to a 55 percent majority for the state Legislature to pass a budget. Five years ago, California voters soundly rejected an initiative that would have done exactly that. The Proposition 56 vote was 34 percent yes and 66 percent no, with majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents voting against this change, according to a Los Angeles Times exit poll. In every PPIC Statewide Survey asking this question since June 2003, fewer than half of Californians favored lowering the two-thirds vote requirement. As recently as May, just 39 percent of Californians said it was a "good idea."
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