CA Ballot Initiatives: Prop 31

Proposition 31:  Prop. 31 is a boondoggle.  It purports to reform the state budgetary process by 1) locking in a two-year state budget and 2) granting local governments the power to alter or even disregard implementation of laws, regulations or programs created through statewide funding.

We can dispense with issue #1 in short order: For the past 45 years (yes, since Prop 13 was passed), the California legislature has rarely, if ever, ever delivered even a single-year budget on time; a two-year budgetary requirement only grants Sacramento even more opportunity to kick the can down the road, and limits what little flexibility already exists for reforming spending priorities.

With regard to item #2, If Prop 31 were to pass, local governments would be granted authority (through what the measure calls a “Community Action Strategic Plan”), to pre-empt statewide legislation, which could prove disastrous to the environment, to labor standards and to health and human services programs.

Prop 31 also comes with a poison pill:  The initiative would be embedded in the California Constitution, meaning it would be close to impossible ever to go back and revise the measure should it prove as unworkable as its opponents are predicting.  

Vote NO on Proposition 31.

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